Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden will get a $10,000 pay increase under a provision approved Thursday by the Johnson County Commission to make his salary more competitive with the pay range for area police chiefs.
The sheriff’s budget will also get more money for overtime, to deal with a growing jail inmate population.
Hayden will get a 6.5 percent pay increase, to $163,553, effective Dec. 16. County officials said it is not a raise but an “equity adjustment.” Most county employees are entitled to 3 percent merit-based pay raises.
Commission Chairman Ed Eilert said Hayden supervises a large law enforcement department of 660 employees and also has responsibility for the jail. The county did a survey and discovered Hayden’s current salary of $153,553 was lower than for other top law enforcement positions.
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“We looked at the comparables for the chiefs of police in Johnson County,” Eilert said. “It made sense, given the obligations and responsibilities, that that base is now at $163,000.”
The Overland Park police chief’s current salary is $166,412. Lenexa’s is $170,522, and Olathe’s is $173,200.
On the Missouri side, the Jackson County sheriff’s salary has lagged far behind, at $103,771. Jackson County voters recently approved a charter change that puts the sheriff in charge of the county jail and boosts the sheriff’s salary to $158,848. But that’s still lower than the new Johnson County sheriff base pay.
Hayden was not at the commission meeting and could not be reached afterward for comment.
The commission also agreed to increase the sheriff’s contingency this year for unexpected expenses from $1.5 million to $2.25 million, mainly to deal with additional overtime costs associated with managing a growing jail inmate population.
Budget Director Scott Neufeld said the department likely won’t need that additional contingency this year but asked for it to be on the safe side as the fiscal year ends.
The sheriff’s department budget was $81.4 million, with the contingency on top of that. Total expenses this year are expected to come in at about $82.2 million.
Through November, the sheriff’s office spent $4.4 million in overtime, and current projections put the year-end figure at $4.7 million, which is about $1 million more in overtime than originally expected. But Neufeld said the department found ways to cut costs in other areas. So the year-end overage will be closer to about $800,000, which falls within the existing contingency.
For 2019, the sheriff’s department is budgeted to receive $86.6 million and overtime is pegged at $4.7 million. The contingency for 2019 is $2.25 million.
County officials said overtime costs most recently have been related to an increasing jail population. The average daily incarceration numbers rose from 761 in January to 820 in November, requiring additional staff and overtime to manage those inmates.
At a discussion about the rising jail numbers last week, Johnson County Commissioner Mike Brown said that situation has staffing and budget implications that the county will continually have to address.
“That follows a trend line as a suburban area becomes more urban, and Johnson County is becoming, parts of it are becoming more urban,” he said. “Average daily incarceration rates go up. Those are directly connected.”