Shortage of deputies is a public safety issue, sheriff warns | New

Four Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office investigators took jobs as Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies because the pay was much higher.

“They were willing to quit and go back to being deputies just to make more money,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan said. “They will make more money as assistants than as investigators. They didn’t want to go down in rank. They didn’t want to restart their careers as deputies, but the pay was so much better in Harris County that they couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

Fagan said the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is short of 120 deputies.

“We have been recruiting since I took office,” he said. “We have had trouble filling positions and it will only get worse if we don’t do anything about pay. We have to be able to pay competitive salaries if we want to keep people.

Harris County pays its deputies 38% more than Fort Bend County, Fagan said. Houston PD pays 65% more than Fort Bend County and Hedwig Village pays 39% more, Fagan added.

“We lose officers all the time to Harris County, Houston PD, Fulshear and Rosenberg because we can’t offer our deputies the same pay as other agencies,” he said. . “We just can’t compete with these other law enforcement agencies when it comes to salaries.”

He said the sheriff’s office only met the state’s staffing needs at the detention center because it paid staff overtime.