LANCASTER, SC (CN2 NEWS) – Law enforcement agencies say calls for defunding police and low salaries continue to add to the challenge of recruiting quality police officers, but South Carolina s strives to increase the wages of those who protect and serve.
Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile speaks with Governor Henry McMaster during the Governor’s visit to Indian land this Thursday, March 3, 2022, saying that right now in South Carolina there are more than four thousand vacancies in law enforcement.
Governor McMaster said he was taking steps to encourage pay increases for law enforcement officers at the state level, calling the current pay scale inadequate. The governor is also pushing for the minimum wage for first-class law enforcement officers to be raised to $43,500.
At the local level, individual counties help raise salaries for law enforcement – the average starting salary in Lancaster County is around $40,000 depending on certification and education. Sheriff Faile sadly says it becomes a bidding war to hire an officer as they have to compete with some law enforcement agencies in the state, but especially the private sector.
The bill is currently making its way through the state house. Officials say if this bill passes, it will make South Carolina state law enforcement salaries competitive with neighboring states.