Williamson County commissioners have agreed to set aside $1.3 million in the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2022-23 for an assessment of the county’s law enforcement and corrections officers' pay to bring it up to par with the market and to help the county retain officers. Implementation of the study is expected in February, giving officers additional pay about halfway through FY 2022-23.

The move comes on Aug. 9, a week after the Aug. 2 commissioners court meeting when Sheriff Mike Gleason’s team asked the court for a 14% raise for officers instead of the 5%-7% initially discussed in June as reported previously by Community Impact Newspaper.

This is an estimated amount based on information from the sheriff’s department and a look at the upcoming budget, Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long said. The increase is prorated, “because physically there's no time for HR to even start [implementing the increase] until mid- to late October,” she said.

The court has directed Lt. William New of Sheriff Mike Gleason’s team to work in conjunction with the county’s human resources department to make sure the raise is applied in every step on the pay chart.

At the Aug. 2 county court meeting, New presented pay charts that showed how law enforcement and corrections pay in Williamson County is lower than equivalent officers in Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Leander, Liberty Hill and Hutto. He also showed how the county’s corrections officers actually receive a pay cut after transferring to a to law enforcement position.

“Historically, we have been paid inadequately, and the move today will move us to [where] that will no longer be an issue,” New said. “We are thankful for the cooperation from the [Williamson County] Sheriff Deputies Association and the commissioners court, and recommendations to support law enforcement to get us where we should have been a long time ago.”

County Judge Bill Gravell was in agreement with New, saying, “This is where we should have been with our men and women all along, and when I hear deputies want to retire here, I want to throw whatever resources we can reasonably at them to keep them.”

The motion passed unanimously with all four commissioners present.