The move to boost entry-level deputy pay was first introduced in May to help attract candidates for vacant positions in the Sheriff’s Office and to make salaries more competitive with those at law enforcement agencies in nearby counties. Horton said he supported this plan.

County Councilman Michael Brown questioned administrators how the salary increases would be supported in future budgets, since the $400,000 represented a one-time transfer. O’Neill said she anticipated revenue growth would sustain the increases.

Several County Council members said they supported the $400,000 transfer.

“It’s important that we reward (deputies) for what they do and certainly try to keep this office competitive with surrounding communities and continue to have best law enforcement in the state,” County Councilman Justin Bradley said. “I think this is an important step in that direction.”

The approved budget also includes a 0.5 percent cost of living adjustment for all county employees, a $300,000 expense.