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Dona Ana County paying big overtime bill for sheriff’s deputies

Dona Ana County is paying a whole lot of overtime to it’s sheriff’s deputies.

After submitting a public records request to the sheriff’s department, ABC-7 received the number of over time hours deputies have accrued since 2014.

In the 2014-2015 fiscal year the department paid deputies about $1.4 million in overtime pay. Some deputies making as much as an extra $45,000 a year in over time alone.

So far in 2016, deputies have accrued about $770,000 in overtime.

“We’re just throwing away out taxpayer money,” Vigil said.

Sheriff Kiki Vigil has continuously expressed his concerns over a manpower shortage.

In September, he announced they were cutting services because there weren’t enough deputies. Vigil said due to a lack of funding, they aren’t able to pay their deputies high enough salaries to compete with other departments outside the county, leaving them severely understaffed.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s academy graduated 21 cadets, the largest number in the history of Dona Ana County. While Vigil is confident in the deputies, he fears the department will lose them to places outside the county.

“It’s a matter of time that I’ll probably be losing some of them to higher paying agencies like Albuquerque Police Department, they’re hiring big time, they’re pushing a big recruitment,” Vigil said.

ABC-7 why they didn’t make cadets they spend many months training sign a contract obligating them to stay a certain length of time. County Attorney Nelson Goodin said deputies become subject to a collective bargaining agreement after a one year probationary period.

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