Sheriff Benny House said low wages have made it difficult to retain deputies whom the OCSO has spent considerable time and money to train and equip.
Several deputies, he
said, have moved to local agencies including the Alamogordo Police Department
, Ruidoso Police Department
and New Mexico State Police
for an increase in annual salary of $10,000 or more.
said at least one of deputy left after only a year at the Sheriff's Office
said it takes about two years and costs more than $70,000 to train and equip new recruits so that they can hit the streets as self-sufficient deputies.
asked the city commissioners to consider increasing wages as a way to retain experienced deputies.
House said the Sheriff's Office has been struggling to pay employees a competitive wage since he was a deputy.
"This has been going on since the late 2000s," he
"We've just slowly fallen behind."
Part of the reason OCSO has managed to retain deputies, he
said, is because of grants that allow deputies to work overtime for DWI patrols and other initiatives.
Officers from other agencies will sometimes accept a pay cut to join the OCSO for a change in working conditions, he said, though that only goes so far.
"We're held to such a high standard," he