Dorchester Co. sheriff asks council for cash to help force

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Dorchester County Sheriff is calling on County Council to help him and his force in a time of need. Sheriff L.C. Knight asked council for higher salaries, incentives and money to higher more deputies in Dorchester County.

Sheriff Knight told County Council the Sheriff's Office has lost five deputies in the last two months.

He said since the base salaries and lack of incentives for Deputies in Dorchester are well behind other agencies in the Lowcountry, deputies are making decisions to go elsewhere.

Knight says a deputy in Dorchester county makes just under $34,000 a year without any incentives or pay increases for years of service.

In comparison, he noted the salaries of law enforcement officers in the City of Charleston ($38,000) and North Charleston ($36,000) to name a few. He said at both agencies, officers can make even more money.

Knight asked County council to ponder a three percent base salary increase to allow his office to compete with new recruits and reward those who continue to serve.

The Sheriff says he can tell the current conditions are taking a toll on his deputies.

"I think it's causing morale problem," said Sheriff Knight. "If we can just get our base salary up it will help us greatly."

Knight says the Sheriff's office is responsible for covering 545 square miles with 12 deputies per shift.

He said that is the definition of spreading his force thin.

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