Williamson County will offer its law enforcement officers the highest pay of any neighboring county in fiscal year 2022-23, according to County Judge Bill Gravell.

Information from a June 29 Commissioners Court meeting states ​​​​​officers will receive a 5% increase in pay, plus an additional 1% to 5% increase for all tenured staff, for an average increase of approximately 7%.

“This makes us a leader in the region when you add in our health benefits and when you add in our retirements,” Gravell said at the meeting.

A presentation from county staff showed first year peace officer base pay of Williamson and surrounding counties is between $47,000 and $62,000, with median pay at $59,000.

Williamson County base pay for law enforcement officers is a little above $58,000.

Gravell said commissioners took steps in 2021 to increase officers' pay keeping in mind a median-plus-1% rule, but this year the court decided to pay 2% above the median, bringing the base pay to $60,325.25.

County information states the Williamson County Sheriff's Deputy Association, representatives of the county attorney’s office, and constables and deputies all provided input to help commissioners land at the new pay rate, and the increase would apply to constables, deputies and investigators.

“What I'm proposing today is that ... our salaries, plus retirement, plus health benefits would make us the highest paid law enforcement agency in the region for starting peace officers, as well as others up on the step chart,” Gravell said. “If someone left [the Austin Police Department] and came to work for Williamson County, with our salaries or life insurance and our health insurance, and our retirement, that APD officer would receive a salary increase of $4,531.”

As another example, Gravell said if a deputy in Bell County wanted to come to work for Williamson County under this pay chart, he would receive a salary increase of $24,252, Gravell said.

County information shows the salary increase adds a total of $2.1 million in expenditures to the Williamson County budget for fiscal year 2022-23, an amount officials will need to account for as budget discussions continue throughout the summer.