by Trish Rudder
Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer asked for and received some desired outcomes for his department from the Morgan County Commissioners at their July 7 meeting.
Bohrer asked for an increase in the starting pay rate from $17.54 to $18.82 per hour for the part-time deputies.
He said three new deputies – Bill Carper, Jesse Hedrick and Jay Longerbeam — as well as part-time deputies Link, Shambaugh and Hustler would receive the $1.28 increase.
Bohrer said the part-time deputies help with the department’s staffing decline because of health issues and military service. Two of the department’s full-time officers are being deployed for military service.
Officers Carper, Hedrick and Longerbeam were hired to fill the gaps caused by the military deployments, he said.
Commissioner Bill Clark said part-time employees are important to any organization.
The commissioners unanimously approved the request. Commission President Joel Tuttle said the hourly pay raise to $18.82 is for current and new part-time deputies.
Approval of the new hires must be given by the commission to validate the hiring of the three-part time deputies, Carper, Hedrick and Longerbeam.
Bohrer gave the commissioners some background information on them. Hedrick is from Monongalia County and his wife’s job brought them to this area. Carper is from Harpers Ferry and Longerbeam is from Berkeley County.
The commissioners unanimously approved the hiring of the three part-time deputies.
The commissioners also approved Bohrer’s request to reinstitute the sign-on bonus for new full-time deputy hires. He said the sign-on bonus has been very cost effective.
The current entry-level salary is $38,500 with a $4,000 signing bonus for certified officers.
After six months, the officer receives $2,000 and then the other $2,000 is awarded after one year, Bohrer said.
Commissioner Tuttle said it was good to award the $2,000 bonus at the end of six months and at the end of one year for the second $2,000.
The new-hire bonus practice was unanimously approved by the commission.
Body camera upgrades
Sheriff Bohrer received approval from the Morgan County Commission regarding the revised quote of $22,000 from Axon for the department’s body cameras.
Commissioner Tuttle said the revised quote of $22,000 from Axon was approved through December 2024.
The multi-year contract will replace the department’s body cameras and provide upgrades to the video and audio-monitoring systems.