BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) The Butler County Sheriff's Office is having a tough time keeping employees.
The Butler County Sheriff said he is now calling on the county commission for help.
Butler County Sheriff, Kelly Herzet, said his office can't pay competitive wages, which has his deputies leaving for jobs on other departments.
"When you're covering 1460 square miles, you have about seven officers out, it's gonna take awhile for the officers to get to a location, mostly if it's in one complete end of their district," said Herzet.
Herzet said response times for his county are anywhere from two minutes to 20 minutes.
He said he is fully-staffed with deputies right now, but he is short 13 people at the jail.
"We hire somebody, we get them to the academy, we put them through a 10 week field training officers program," said Herzet. "They might stay for a few months, and then they leave to go. We just lost two to The Belle Aire Police Department."
He said deputies are leaving for other departments because they pay a couple more bucks an hour.
Herzet said he went to the commissioners three years ago to ask for four more deputies.
"People are tired of being burglarized, and I think we need to be proactive and get more officers, but with budget cuts, and that's what we've had every year, a flat budget. They've refused to put more officers on the street," said Herzet.
Herzet said the commissioners plan to have a salary study for the deputies where they hope to come up with a solution.
He said a deputy in Butler County starts off making $14.79 an hour. That jumps up to $15.05 an hour after training.
According to Sedgwick County's website, commissioned deputies start out at $19.77 an hour, while detention deputies start at $15.49 an hour.