ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Recruiting and retaining people for law enforcement is something that impacts agencies everywhere, the Upstate is no different.

In the Upstate, law enforcement agencies are working to get pay raises for their men and women behind the badge. For example, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office has gotten their deputies six pay raises over the past six years.

“I don’t think we can pay these people enough, considering what they do for the community,”: said Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride.

McBride said their pay raises have been gradual.

“Starting pay raise right now is pushing $49,000 a year for a non-certified, non-experienced deputy,” he said.

The raises can be anywhere from 2%-6%, depending on the year.

“When I took office, it was probably in the ballpark of $31-32,000. So, we’ve made significant progress in the last six years,” stated the Sheriff.

The most recent raise was in the fall of 2022. Sheriff McBride said a good relationship with local leaders is key and they couldn’t get the raises without county council’s support.

“As the sheriff, obviously a great relationship with the county council is paramount. But even for city police chiefs, it’s important they have a really good relationship with their city councils,” he said.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office isn’t the only agency giving out raises. During Monday night’s meeting, the Fountain Inn City Council approved a pay raise for police officers, increasing their pay from $14 an hour to $19.

Sheriff McBride said these pay increases help keep their people.

“It has helped us tremendously, because retention’s really been good,” said Sheriff McBride. “I think that in order to have good people, you have good people and in order to keep good people, you have to pay them.”

In these times, he said, people aren’t lining up to put on the uniform, and keeping your people is a huge focus.

“Of course, we lose people every now and then, but most of the time, we’re not losing them to other departments,” he said. “We’re losing them to some industry, some civilian company or business. Of course, it’s hard to compete.” 

The sheriff said they are doing their best to compete with industry pay. Especially because the job requires a lot of sacrifice.

“You start thinking about risking your life out here for people, but you have children at home, is it worth it? It’s tough. It’s a tough call,” said Sheriff McBride.

He said he plans to ask for another pay raise this year, with making the goal of getting deputies to start at around $50,000, in the next couple of years.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office still has a few positions open. With deputies starting at around $49,000, detention officers at $45,000 and dispatch at $41,000.