Official: Raising regional jail salaries would be positive

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia official has told state legislators that raising correctional officer salaries would be beneficial.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports state Regional Jail Authority executive director David Farmer told a legislative corrections oversight committee on Sunday that raising regional jail salaries “has to be a positive.” Farmer told the interim committee that nearly $7 million in overtime was paid during the 2016-17 budget year, as officers had to work mandatory overtime to make up for vacancies on staff.

House Judiciary Chairman John Shott said he estimates the nearly $7 million would cover benefits for more than 170 officers and a $30,000 starting salary, amounting to a more than $5,000 increase to the current starting salary.

Regional jails currently have more than 200 unfilled correctional officer positions.

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