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Virginia Beach Sheriff will use 46 vacant position funds for education and longevity incentives

Virginia Beach Sheriff is trying to prevent pay disparity between deputies and police officers.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle wants to give his sheriff's deputies pay raises based on education and longevity incentives.

On Tuesday, Stolle presented his argument to Virginia Beach City Council that he can use money from vacant positions to pay for the incentives. 

The reason to pay with vacant positions is part of years' long effort to get pay parity between Virginia Beach Sheriff's Deputies and police officers.   

Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy of Operations Victoria Thomson says the office has 46 vacancies. Now, those open positions will help fund current sheriff’s deputies' college and career incentives.

“Those vacancies mean that we're not paying people out of our salary bucket within the budget so there is excess money available," said Thomson. 

Thomson said the money brings higher pay for current sheriff’s deputies.

“A deputy that has a master’s degree could get a 2.5% pay increase that basically pays him for that education. From a longevity perspective, someone who’s been with Sheriff’s office for 20 years would get an additional 1.75% pay increase and those are the same increases the police department got effected July the first," said Thomson. 

Sheriff Stolle said before the meeting that the sheriff's office was not part of a city ordinance to get funds for incentives this fiscal year. 

“We’ll the police department was given a pay raise on July 1 and I think it was an oversight they omitted the sheriff's office out of that," said Stolle.

“So when that ordinance was passed the sheriff's office was included in the ordinance so now we just need to brief council and let them know we're moving forward with the same incentives," said Thomson. 

Thomson said the incentives could hopefully keep people working for Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office longer.

A Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office spokesperson explained the pay raises will not go into effect right away as the city council is still working out some details. 

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