By Sarrah Peters
On Monday April 13, local lawmakers announced an increase in funding for local law enforcement during a press conference.
The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office will recieve $400,000 to pay for deputy raises. Right now, starting deputies making about $12 an hour. With this raise, the deputies will earn almost $15 an hour. The raise will make retaining employees much easier.
“They get a raise going somewhere else, and they go to do better for their families,” said Sheriff Todd Entrekin. “I want to retain them.”
The Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit will receive $200,000 to $225,000. The DEU has recently seen a rise in synthetic narcotics and heroin.
The Etowah County District Attorney’s Office will receive $50,000 to create an additional position for a deputy district attorney.
The money comes from the county’s one percent sales tax, which is meant to fund education, volunteer fire departments and law enforcement entities, as well as other organizations.
“I’m a firm believer in no new taxes,” said State Senator Phil Williams, while expressing his joy that the funds came from an existing tax.
“It’s an uncommon day that we have such cooperation,” said Repesentative Becky Nordgren. “It [law enforcement]is a dangerous job without much compensation.”
Representative Craig Ford, Representative Mack Butler and Sheriff Todd Entrekin were also at the announcement.