ENGLEWOOD — Sheriff Bill Prummell tried to clarify issues surrounding the new pay system he implemented at the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office at a town hall meeting Wednesday that was attended mainly by department staff, volunteers, deputies and public officials.
Jody Brokaw of Grove City may have been the lone member of the general public in attendance.
The town hall meeting, the first of four Prummell has planned, was held in the Englewood Area Board of Realtors office.
Questions were submitted anonymously on note cards and were read by Lt. Darrell Caparo. There were 30 in attendance including County Commissioner Bill Truex and Englewood Chamber of Commerce President Scott Barber.
Prummell took issue with an article in the Sun Wednesday about high-ranking staff members getting raises.
“The article was slanted,” Prummell said. “It appeared to a lot of people after they read about the change that it was a raise across the board for senior command staff. Only some got raises under the new plan.”
Prummell said he took the senior command staff out of the old pay scale plan.
Under the new system, captains and department directors are paid 70 percent of the sheriff’s salary, majors get 80 percent, and a chief deputy or colonel receives 85 percent. The sheriff is paid based on county population. If the population decreases, so does his salary and the salary of his senior command staff.
According to Prummell, under the old system, a starting captain would get $80,000 and could be paid up to $110,000 over time. The same captain would be paid $89,000 under the current system at the sheriff’s current salary.
A major’s salary under the old system would start from $92,000 and potentially go up to $127,000 over time. Under the current system, he would get $102,000. Neither would go up over time, Prummell said.
Another issue brought up at the meeting was why there is increased patrol car activity in Gulf Cove.
Caparo said one of the reasons is complaints of speeding in the area.
Prummell said he wants to expand community policing by having officers become active in neighborhoods and promote awareness in the community.
“We’ve caught a lot of crimes in progress,” he said. “We found crimes are often committed to feed drug habits.”
The dates and locations of the three remaining town halls have yet to be announced.