20180821-bc-kcsosups-8 (copy)

In this file photo from August 2018, a large group of Kern County Sheriff's deputies meet in front of the County of Kern Administrative Center on Truxtun Avenue in Bakersfield to raise awareness about low pay.

Kern deputies could soon be the highest paid law enforcement officials in the county under a new contract proposal approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The proposal, which must be voted on by the Kern Law Enforcement Association before it is adopted, would raise the level of pay for all ranks and positions within the Kern County Sheriff’s Office above similar positions in Bakersfield Police Department, an agency that competes with the county for employees.

Although specific pay increases for individual positions were not available Tuesday, county officials claimed the salary increases would make the Sheriff’s Office among the highest-paid departments in the Central Valley.

“We’re trying to do what we can here to address a pretty significant business problem that we believe needs to be addressed,” said County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop.

For years, sheriff’s officials have said that low salaries were creating significant staffing issues for the department and had made recruitment difficult.

Deputies frequently patrol large areas of the county alone, and investigative teams have been stretched thin.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood went so far as to call the situation a crisis.

The county’s proposed contract would authorize $3.4 million annually for the pay increases, as well as $2 million for signing bonuses for entry-level recruits and transfers from other law enforcement agencies.

The county expects to spend $10.7 million next year to boost the Sheriff’s Office.

“I believe this is the most significant proposal, in terms of salary increases, that has been provided to the KLEA in a decade, if not more,” Alsop said.

Prior to the proposed contract, negotiations between the county and the sheriff’s union, KLEA, had stalled.

In May, supervisors declared an impasse in the negotiation process after union members overwhelmingly rejected the county’s “last and final” offer.

The offer included cuts to overtime pay, which is unpopular among deputies.

Alsop said the proposed contract did not include any economic concessions.

Shortly after Tuesday’s announcement, KLEA President Richard Anderson said he needed to study the proposal before forming an opinion.

“I don’t know what to think until I sit down and figure it out,” he said.

KLEA could soon vote on the county’s contract, which would last until June 30, 2022.

Sam Morgen can be reached at 661-395-7415. Follow him on Twitter: @smorgenTBC.

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(14) comments


You want to talk about greed... Look at how much KC management gets paid and how often they give themselves raises, when they haven't increased the staff pay scale in 12 years.


Pay for deputies should be equal to or slightly higher than City of Bakersfield to stop the poaching of officers trained by the Sheriffs Dept. by the BPD. Nothing more.


Every US military enlisted or officer gets the same basic pay, no matter what service they are in, rate or rank, or where they are trained or stationed. ---- https://themilitarywallet.com/2019-military-pay-charts/ ---- In California, all peace officers (quasi-military by definition) must also pass equal and consistent standards of background and training as members of a military organization. ---- Does the same pay standard exist in California for peace officers as in the US Military? ---- https://www.ca.gov/agency/?item=commission-on-peace-officer-standards-and-training ---- https://post.ca.gov/Peace-Officer-Training ---- https://post.ca.gov/ ----- https://post.ca.gov/how-do-I-become-a-peace-officer


To eliminate this 'agency competition', perhaps California's legislature might consider the same consistency for peace officers (regardless of service or agency) as does the Department of Defense for those " . . . in harm's way". ---- https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/Pay-Tables.html


The BOS coming out publicly stating this before submitting a contract offer to KLEA is suspicious. I think it caught the KLEA board and the union’s members off guard. I think the future revenue of the Hard Rock Casino/Hotel and Amazon allows the county some breathing room. The county better do something to generate new revenue other than oil because the libs in Sac want to shut all drilling down.


‘Libs In Sac’ trying to protect Bako from hitting 135 degree local summer-time highs by the time millennials hit retirement age.


That’s almost laughable.


Wow, so the County really did (does) have the money to pay better.


Whatever it is it wont be enough . The stuff our beloved Leo's have to tolerate is absurd


You are correct. This is a media ploy by the BOS and nothing more. Anything less than 20% is an insult to KLEA.


Oh it’s MORE than enough. Deputies are only hired if they score below a certain score—do not want really intelligent employees, prefer blind followers instead of Indy thinkers. Makes sense. The key is not the pay, it’s the retirement benefits. Why is that not openly discussed and routinely reported? Because City, County law enforcement, Judicial employees, Fire Dept and County Supervisors AND their staff ( not to mention the CDC) receive incredibly over-compensated retirements averaging 90-100% of their working incomes from the job. Is that nuts or what? And they gave the nerve to protest? Lol. So most of the above have unions that cry n wink but in final analysis get those massive retirement checks after just 20 years on job. Crazy. Add in the $2500 minimum SS retirement at age 62 and these folks are banking $70-$160k per year. And not doing a lick of work. And people wonder why the city stole a penny increase in taxes to help fund the scandal of pension shortages. Listen: you can’t go backwards n take their agreed deals away—but you CAN say is that junk is over with. Any new hires starting now—the pension plan is half of what it used to be. And guess what? They’ll still be lining up for those jobs. Private corporations did and do exactly that. She’ll Oil used to give retirees the world. Not anymore. It’s called fiscal realty. So wake up n smell the coffee Bakersfield. I note law enforcement is a tough job the others are cake n ice cream. So quit stealing us blind with these outrageous pensions. And media call this stuff out. Peace.


Do you even know what a new hire’s pension is now for Sheriff and BPD? Those golden goose days went away several years ago, thank goodness. Don’t believe me, write your county supervisor and/or city councilperson. Just trying to help you update your knowledge base. Have a nice day.


Don’t out Dummy yourselves KLEA. The best negotiation may be accepting the offer presented... GREED is a five letter word where you will lose...


If it were half decent and not an insult they might just take it. However, this is a political scam that will soon be brought to light. It would take a 20% raise across the board to satisfy this 10+ year drought. Allegedly, the offer is not even close to half of that.

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