New sheriff talks FCSO changes

Big changes are coming to the Freestone County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) under the direction of new Sheriff Jeremy Shipley. Shipley presented a revamped pay plan at the recent county meeting, which commissioner's tabled until Tuesday, Jan. 3. The new sheriff is asking to be allowed to allocate where the funds go in an effort to “combat a severely flawed pay scale” which has been causing problems for years. All of the money for salaries has already been budgeted for the FCSO in October 2016.

The first order of business is a pay reduction for Scott Shaw and Rich Howerton who are currently making what a lieutenant would make. Their salary will be reduced a total of $4,439. Shipley is also requesting the county recognize two sergeant positions – sergeant CID and sergeant patrol.

As an incentive to hire and retain deputies, a hire-in raise of $960 is being asked to bring hire-in salaries up from $33,600 to $34,560. “Deputies need an incentive to stick around and stay here,” Shipley explained.

LJ McAdams is no longer the jail administrator and has accepted a regular jailer position. Shipley said he would like to see a sergeant position added to the jail, as well. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) recommends FCSO have 14 jailers; however, commissioners have only approved 13 positions.

“I would like to have that fourteenth jailer. I believe that will benefit us greatly in the comp time issue we have,” said Shipley. “I would also like to see a second dispatcher added.” Shipley explained that at one time there was another dispatcher position at the jail until former sheriff Don Anderson did away with it. FCSO dispatcher's work the entire county.

“There is going to be a change in our office in 2017,” said Shipley. “There has been an immediate change already. I will continue to do my best after January 1, but there are areas I don't feel our best will be good enough. I am asking the county to trust me and believe in me.”

In other county news:


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