In early December the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office will ask St. Bernard Parish voters to approve a 12-mill property tax to provide crucial funding for recruiting and retaining qualified deputies. The additional revenue will cover costs of paying deputies salaries comparable with that of other law enforcement agencies in the region, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
With many neighboring agencies recently enacting significant pay raises for deputies, Sheriff Pohlmann said the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is currently among the lowest in the metropolitan area in starting salary for deputies.
The Sheriff said the 12-mill tax will provide the funding needed by the Sheriff’s Office to bring the salary scale for St. Bernard deputies in line with other local agencies and also allow for the revamping of the department’s longevity pay scale.
“We have an outstanding group of deputies who do a great job of making St. Bernard one of the safest communities in our region,” the Sheriff said. “It is crucial though that we must pay these men and women competitively in order to retain them so they can continue to make St. Bernard a safe place to live, work and raise our families.”
It’s no secret law enforcement agencies across the country are facing a manpower crisis as older officers retire and fewer young adults are interested in policing. Major shortages in the workforce have led to significant spikes in crime in the region, especially throughout our surrounding communities.
“As violent crimes such as carjackings, armed robberies, and shootings skyrocket in the metropolitan area, we are beginning to see those effects here in St. Bernard,” the Sheriff said. “While we still have the quickest response times in the metro area, and continue to be successful in making rapid apprehensions of perpetrators, we will lose that ground if we don’t remain competitive in salary to not only retain but also recruit the finest law enforcement officers in the region.”
The 12-mill property tax will generate approximately $4.7 million dollars annually, the Sheriff said. Taxpayers who have a homestead exemption will pay $90 per year for a home assessed at $150,000 and $210 for a home assessed at $250,000.
The election will be held on Dec. 10, 2022. Early voting will run from Nov. 26 through Dec. 3.
Sheriff Pohlmann thanks the citizens of St. Bernard Parish for their unwavering support and asks that we continue to work together to “Keep St. Bernard Safe.”