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Muscogee County Sheriff addresses pay raises before city council

Sheriff Donna Tompkins didn't hold back during her remarks before city council.

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins took the issue of pay raises for the sheriff's department directly to the city council on Tuesday. Tompkins told council members that for the first time in 8 years, the department has a surplus $118,000.00 in the general budget. Tompkins would like to see the surplus used for officer pay raises and incentives for new recruits. There are currently 30 officer openings within the sheriff's department. 

Tompkins says she believes higher pay and a focus on public safety should be a priority. 

"When I say public safety, I mean the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office, Columbus Police Department, Marshall's Office, whatever. We've got to come to an understanding that public safety is important to every other aspect. It's not a Columbus, Georgia issue, it is a national issue of getting great candidates that will do this job," says Tompkins. 

"Tompkins drew applause from the audience when she told the city council: "We are the officers of public safety. Either you stand with us or against us." 

The City Council's response: The sheriff can use the money to give one time bonuses, but they cannot approve the proposed salaries.

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