Carroll County Times

Carroll County Sheriff’s Office awarded state grant to help with hiring and retention

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The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its efforts to hire and retain staff. The Board of Carroll County Commissioners unanimously approved Thursday acceptance of a $63,500 Police Retention and Recruitment grant from the state to help the sheriff’s office in those efforts.

The grant will be used to assist with outreach, advertising and marketing efforts including using billboards, social media and job search sites, said Vicky McDonold, director of administrative services with the sheriff’s office.


McDonold said the sheriff’s office plans to create a recruitment video and offer referral bonuses to staff for bringing in new candidates. The sheriff’s office is also exploring health and wellness initiatives to offer, such as trial gym memberships for staff.

This is a one-time grant, and the county is not obligated to match the funding in order to receive it, she said.


Sheriff Jim DeWees, who is running unopposed for reelection this year, has served as sheriff since 2014.

In a guest commentary published in The Times in April 2021, DeWees called recruiting, hiring, and retaining quality trained personnel “the single most pressing internal issue for all sheriffs and chiefs throughout the country.”

The commentary was published after DeWees presented commissioners with a study comparing law enforcement compensation in Carroll County with other agencies in the state.

“We believe a good target to attract high-quality police deputies would be in the 50th percentile of those organizations,” DeWees said at the time. “This means if Howard County is the highest paid and Frederick County is the fifth highest, Carroll should be in the middle of Howard and Frederick.”

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County officials created a plan last year to bring law enforcement and correctional deputy salaries up to the desired level. Two lump sums were granted to the sheriff’s office by commissioners: $2 million in fiscal 2022 and $2.9 million in fiscal 2023 to help boost salaries, including pension and payroll costs.

Commissioner President Ed Rothstein, a District 5 Republican who is also running for reelection this year, said in April that ensuring Carroll has a safe and secure environment and confidence in the services provided by fire and EMS, along with the sheriff’s office, is his priority.

“In order to recruit and retain the best individuals, we need to keep a competitive compensation in place,” he said. “For years Carroll has dealt with noncompetitive compensation and became a strong training ground for the men and women in blue.”