(photo courtesy Stuart Miles and freedigitalphotos.net)
End of Year Report
The following press release is compiled from data obtained from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the Expenditure/Revenue reports created by the Livingston County Clerk’s Office:
In 2017 the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) was authorized a maximum of 7 full time road deputies, 1 part time bailiff, and the sheriff to cover 539 square miles in Livingston County. Our office covers both Associate Court and Circuit Court with various law days including Juvenile Law Day, Circuit Criminal Law Day, Special Circuit Law Day, Circuit Civil Law Day, minimum of 2 Associate Criminal/Traffic law days per month, Associate Civil Law Days, all Jury Trials, individual hearings by various Judges from both inside and outside of our Judicial Circuit, Change of Venue cases, and other court hearings as needed. Most of these Court hearings and law days require a minimum of 1 deputy to bailiff and sometimes as many as 3 or 4 with an additional LCSO officer working security and metal detector duty on the first floor of the Court house.
Additionally the LCSO handles all calls for service, criminal investigations, works with and shares information with other agencies, provides programs to schools and civic or church groups, serves all Court criminal and civil papers, and we notify all potential jurors of court and also guard and assist all jurors.
2017 proved difficult in keeping quality deputies on staff as we lost multiple people with at least one to a job with better pay and benefits. During the year we also lost at least 2 other deputies for other reasons. We were fortunate to take on John Stafford as a part time reserve deputy to assist us in late 2016 serving primarily as bailiff. Deputy Stafford is a retired KCPD officer and has since been moved to full time deputy.
Unfortunately due to the historical low pay of 3rd class counties our office has dealt with much difficulty in recruiting and obtaining quality applicants for decades. Since 2001 Sheriff Cox has worked hard at educating and providing documentation to the previous County Commission for competitive pay and additional staffing to support our communities needs and enforcement. Finally for 2018 the Livingston County Commission has heard us and have responded. As of January 01, 2018 the entry level pay for a deputy to $31,500 dollars per year or $15.14 per hour plus all holiday and overtime. This should make us more competitive in the local area law enforcement market. One hurdle we still have which many other agencies do not require is we mandate road deputies reside in Livingston County, this is done to the overall safety and needs of the public. It should be noted the previous authorized starting pay for a deputy sheriff was just under $26,000 with the sheriff receiving a grant to get deputies pay to $30,000 for 2017. However, that deputy salary supplement grant is not a guarantee each year and additional funding may not even be supported. This forward step by the county commission is a life safer as the #1 reason quality applicants have declined employment offers has been the base salary.
The County Commission has also authorized our organization to add 1 additional road deputy to help strengthen our ability and commitment to criminal enforcement and other requirements and obligations. With this new position we are currently seeking applicants for 2 full time road deputy positions and 1 part time deputy to assist with Court and Civil Process.
Missouri law requires law enforcement organizations hire only licensed Missouri Peace Officers. Our agency has additional standards and a hiring process to provide you with honest, hard-working, intelligent, and diligent deputies.
If you know anyone meeting these requirements who wants to join a positive and productive team we ask you send them our direction.
We also with to thank the Livingston County Commissioners and the Livingston County voters for supporting both Livingston County and the Sheriff’s Office. As always we are here to help you, your family, and your friends.
Sheriff Steve Cox