‘It’s important:’ St. Johns County Sheriff wants higher pay for new deputies

There’s a new push to raise the salaries for deputies in St. Johns County.

It’s one of the state’s fastest-growing counties, and leaders say it’s needed to stay competitive and to keep people safe.

In a recent commission meeting, Sheriff Robert Hardwick asked for the starting pay to be moved from $52,000 to $55,000 for new deputies.


“I think it’s important we continue to raise the starting pay. I feel like the more we are bringing into the sheriff’s office, it’s making us easier to market the price tag at 55,000 dollars,” said Hardwick.

If you compare that to other counties St. Johns is higher.

According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office website, it starts its deputies off at a little over 45,000 dollars.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office website, police recruits start at 47,900 dollars while going through the academy, but upon completion of training, they go to 50,000 dollars.

Hardwick says although Duval is lower for new officers, salaries eventually get higher.

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“The problem is when you got to Duval County Sheriff’s Office, they may start a little bit lower than us, but the five-year mark they are about 10,000 dollars more than us,” said Hardwick

St. Johns county commission chairman Christian Whitehurst says this is a good idea and commissioners will vote on the final budget in September

“Frankly, we have a lot of needs in St. Johns County, but none of those needs are more pressing than public safety. All the things that are wonderful about St. Johns County aren’t possible without a safe place to live,” said Whitehurst

We did reach out to Sheriff Hardwick for more comments on this pay increase request, but his assistant said he was unavailable.

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