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MARION, Ind. — Sheriff’s deputies in Grant County are demanding a pay raise. 

Deputies have been in negotiations with county commissioners for the last few weeks, since they figured out they make about 30-percent less than what the average deputy makes across the rest of the state. 

Sgt. Matt Sneed with the sheriff’s department told WISH-TV they can’t compete with neighboring counties of similar size, population, and crime rate that are paying more.

“I had one of the guys that I supervise this year leave and go to a nearby county at a local agency down there to make about $18,000 a year more,” he said.

He said with more deputies leaving Grant County to find better, high paying gigs, it leaves the public to deal with the consequences of having less manpower on the force.

“If it’s an emergency and we need to run lights and sirens to get there to back somebody up on something we’re putting the public in jeopardy because we would have to drive much faster because we are so much farther away from the scene,” Sneed added.

At a county council meeting last night, commissioners avoided talking about the issue. Shane Middlesworth, the Grant County Council president, told attendees it would be “inappropriate” to address the matter while negotiations were still going on.

However, during the meeting commissioner did approve raises for non-law enforcement workers throughout the county. 

In the meantime, many deputies who showed up to the packed meeting to discuss the issue said they have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Sgt. Sneed said he works three jobs.