LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Sheriff Ken Farley says he took office to increase county security, but he says he can't do it alone.
"It's just a continuous rollover with deputies," he said. "You're constantly trying to hire more deputies."
Farley says it's a struggle to keep his department staffed due to low starting salaries for deputies and a lack of benefits offered.
It's a combination he says causes them to leave as soon as their experience level climbs.
"The surrounding counties are paying much better money and insurance, and you can't really blame them for wanting to better themselves," he said.
The starting salary for Lincoln County deputies is currently $24,000. Farley says surrounding counties offer about four thousand dollars more plus benefits.
It's a fact neighbors like Sheri Rhodes found disappointing but not surprising.
"They have more money to pay their officers...so if we lose good men, then shame on us," she said. "We need to do what we can to keep them in the county."
Farley says three deputies have left for higher-paying jobs since he took office in January.
He asked the county commission to give deputies a raise at their last meeting and expects to hear an update on the request next month.
"It's not about us," he said. "It's about keeping the county safe for our children and our children's children."
Farley says he also wants to create two new deputy positions to increase patrols around the county, including some of the more remote sections.
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