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Press Release

Sheriff Austin Garrett Announces Pay Increase


Sheriff Austin Garrett and County Mayor Weston Wamp Announce New, Competitive Starting Salaries for HCSO Corrections and Law Enforcement Personnel

Hamilton County, TN – Sheriff Austin Garrett and County Mayor Weston Wamp are proud to announce they have collaboratively worked together in conjunction with County Commission Chair Chip Baker, to create a bold and innovative approach to address the issue of compensation pertaining to the starting pay for sworn and sworn-certified personnel in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. It is our combined hope the announcement of today’s historic pay increase will help the HCSO address the many vacancies in our Corrections and Law Enforcement Services, and support our ongoing recruitment efforts.

Effective October 5, 2022, the new starting salary for sworn employees will be $50,000.00 and the starting salary for sworn-certified employees will be $51,500.00. All existing sworn and sworn-certified employees will be adjusted based on years of service as defined in the HCSO pay matrix.

“In order to recruit talented, qualified and diverse candidates to work for the HCSO, we must be willing to pay them a competitive, livable wage that clearly demonstrates we value their efforts and recognize the extremely difficult job they have providing corrections and law enforcement services for this county. I appreciate Mayor Wamp’s willingness to partner with us as we seek creative and innovative ways to address the vacancies in our agency and recruit the best people possible to wear the star of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office,” stated Sheriff Austin Garrett.

The implementation of this salary increase requires the freezing of approximately 50-55 vacant positions within the HCSO to ensure we remain within our allocated salary budget and in compliance with our mandated letter of agreement. The HCSO currently has approximately 110 vacancies agency-wide.

“This is a big moment for law enforcement in Hamilton County,” stated County Mayor Weston Wamp. “This pay increase will enable Sheriff Garrett to adequately staff the jail so that our corrections officers are paid a fair wage, help to reduce the need for mandatory overtime and are able to spend more time with their families. I am proud we were able to reach this agreement within the Sheriff’s current budget,” he further noted.

While the issue of recruiting qualified candidates to work in the field of criminal justice may seem singular to our county, it is a critical issue facing nearly every law enforcement agency in our nation. Across the board, law enforcement agencies are struggling to not only recruit talented and diverse candidates, but pay them commensurate to a livable wage based on our ever changing cost of living and inflation.

The HCSO is asking all of our citizens to assist us in this recruiting effort. If you know someone who is looking for an opportunity to serve their community and begin a career in law enforcement, please encourage them to contact our Recruitment Team at recruiting@hcsheriff.gov or apply online by visiting www.hcsheriff.gov.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000