Hempstead County
Sheriff's Office
Hope, Arkansas
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10/09/2015

Sheriff's Office Loses Another Deputy because of Low Pay

Hempstead County Sheriff Loses another Deputy Because of Salary

 

Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton announced today that he has lost another Deputy Sheriff due to the low salary issue that has plagued the sheriff’s office for years.

 

Sgt. Matthew Dunham a five year veteran of the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office tendered his resignation Friday Morning. Sgt. Dunham informed the Sheriff he was leaving to take another Police Job in Texarkana to better himself and his family financially.

 

I have known Matthew all his life I coached him in Pee-wee Football and watch him grow into an outstanding young man and become a great Deputy said Sheriff James Singleton.

 

I wish him and his family all the best. Matthew and I had talked several times about the issue of salaries for the deputies and about the low pay here at the Sheriff’s office. And on more than one occasion he indicated that he loved his job here but without even a hope of a raise in salary he was going to apply for another department that paid more he was aware that I had presented the Hempstead County Quorum Court with pay plans for the past two years without any results, I can’t blame him wanting to better provide for his family.

 

Dunham first served as a Reserve Deputy, and Jailer then went to work in July of 2010 as a patrol deputy, for a Salary of $24,700.00 he completed the 480 hours basic police course in Camden, and obtained over 470 hours of additional training during his time he at the Sheriff’s Office. He was promoted to Patrol Sergeant in late 2014, with the salary of $25,200.00 and served in that position until his resignation of Friday.

 

Not only will I miss Matthew as a person, The Sheriff’s office as a whole will suffer because the loss of experience and training he has gained and received while here, You just can’t replace experience and training especially in job environment that law enforcement officers have to operate in this day and age.

 

As sheriff it is my duty to make sure we hire and train the best qualified people to protect the citizens of Hempstead County and I believe that we have done that. But one thing I can’t do that I want and desperately need to do is raise the salaries of our Certified Deputies. Hempstead County is providing area law enforcement agencies with well trained, very qualified, professional officers at no cost to the agencies. The taxpayers of Hempstead County are funding the training for other agencies and that my friends is a Dang Shame, as for me as a Taxpayer I am sick and tired of it as all Taxpayers should be.

 

There is a lot of time and money that goes into finding, hiring, equipping, and training a new Deputy Time that could be better spent going after drug dealers, Child Molesters, and other Criminals that steal, rob and prey on the elderly and young.

 

As your sheriff, I want to provide Hempstead County with the best law enforcement agency that I can it just becomes harder when you lose Deputies that have experience and have proven themselves to be honest, faithful, and dedicated like Matthew Dunham. Matthew GOD Bless and Keep you and Your Family and thank you for your service to the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

I urge the citizens of Hempstead County to Contact their respective Quorum Court members and ask them to address the issue of salaries for the Certified Law Enforcement officers of the Sheriff’s Office This issue will not be solved unless the Quorum Court takes action in this matter we will just keep training officers for other agencies.