Lyon County’s Judge Executive has mounted a campaign to raise awareness of what he says are underpaid state troopers and corrections staff.
Judge-Executive Wade White says low pay and high stress are partly to blame for a 67 % turnover rate within the state Department of Corrections.
White says the legislature’s failure to fund the so-called Career Ladder, which was established in 2002, also plays a role.
“This law basically said every two, four, six, ten years, you’re going to get a raise,” said White. “It was put in there to keep qualified, well-seasoned correctional officers and staff in our prisons. The problem is it was never funded, not once have they funded that. “
White says Kentucky State Police troopers face a similar issue with little wage growth since 2006.
“They make less than the average of the seven states bordering us,” said White. “So recruitment is going to become a difficult situation there and if we continue to get further and further behind, catching up is going to become impossible, so we need to start those raises back every year so we don’t get in the same sort of turnover crisis as we have in corrections.”
To raise public awareness across the state, White has helped to launch the website paythebadge.com.
White says if the employee turnover rate worsens, it could have an economic impact affecting job recruitment and safety at correction facilities.