Sep 12, 2022 - News

Denver sheriffs could see $7,000 bonus

Deputy recruits during a class at the Denver Sheriff Training Academy in 2016. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The union representing Denver sheriffs wants to change its collective bargaining agreement with the city to provide $7,000 retention bonuses.

Why it matters: The bonuses are an attempt to keep staff members as the agency faces vacancies prompted by pandemic-era labor fluctuations and challenges hiring people, like other law enforcement departments.

  • The proposed changes include a 4% overall raise starting next year — up 1% from the previously negotiated increase — and a higher overtime rate when needed to make up for staffing shortages.
  • A deputy's salary ranges from $62,458 to $87,033 a year, according to city data.

What they're saying: "We have great men and women who work here that we want to keep, and so the retention bonus is one of the ways that we hope to be able to do that," Denver Sheriff Elias Diggins told Axios Denver.

Details: Nearly 600 deputies, sergeants and captains would be eligible for the retention bonus, Diggins said.

  • The bonuses, if approved, would be paid out in installments, starting with two payments of $2,000 each.
  • The money to pay for the bonuses would come from the agency's own budget.

By the numbers: The sheriff's department has 589 sworn personnel, though it's budgeted for 875, according to agency spokesperson Daria Serna. Those figures are as of Aug. 26.

  • Diggins and other managerial staff would not be eligible for the retention bonus.

Of note: The agency already offers a $3,000 signing bonus.

What's next: The Denver City Council will consider the change to the agreement during its Monday meeting.

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