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Sheriff and Metro Fire Pay are Top in County (Poll)

Sheriff's deputies and Sac Metro firefighters earn more on average than other similar agencies.

The firefighters and law enforcement officers who protect Fair Oaks are the highest-paid in the county, according to a Sacramento Bee database.

The average pay of a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department deputy is $96,513, while an average Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighter wage is $128,805.

Those numbers are the highest in Sacramento County, and compare with state averages of $92,976 for police officers and $113,882 for firefighters. However, Folsom Police Department captains earn more on average than sheriff's department captains, according to the Bee.

The Sacramento County Sheriff earns $310,547, while the Metro Fire Chief makes $266,395, according to the Bee.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesman Dep. Jason Ramos said the department generally doesn't comment on salary information, but said many factors influence average salary among any agency, including educational incentives and overtime.

"I wouldn’t draw any hasty conclusions because there is, in fact, an element of an apples to oranges inherent in the so-called 'comparisons,' " Ramos said in an email.  

A spokesman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said officials would issue a formal response with more context in the next couple days.

"It's not as easy to say as, 'These guys make more money than everybody,'" Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum said, adding that other duties and events contribute to average pay figures. "It's not as easy to say as, 'This guy made X and it's based on a salary.' "

The amounts include "overtime, incentive pay and payouts upon retirement," and are 2010 figures, the Bee wrote.

Fair Oaks, what do you think of these figures? Do these public servants earn a fair wage, or should their pay be closer to that of other agencies? Vote in our poll below and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Rick February 15, 2012 at 08:01 AM
I have a question. What "similar" type jobs are you referring to in one of the responses for your poll? I don't know of any other job in the county where you are entrusted to protect the very lives of the citizenry with your own life. What other job in the county requires that you take a tweeked out parolee who is hell bent on killing you or someone else into custody, or chase down an armed murder suspect down a dark alley at 2 AM in to morning? What other job in the county requires its employees to go to a call where an armed intruder is actively trying to break into your house while you are cowering in a closet with your family...counting every terrifying second that goes by....hoping and praying that help arrives....and who is that help again? Who are the "county employees" that are going to put their own lives on the line and confront that armed intruder so you don't have to?? I can't think of any other "similar county job" that is required to do these things night in and night out, but maybe you can.....so please remind me!! Then tell me how much an employee like that is worth? It absolutely blows me away how you can even try and compare what Sheriff's Deputies do to "other county jobs". That's absolutely idiotic! Why not write an article describing what it is Deputies do and why they are not simply another county employee and how they are worth every penny? I'm guessing that probably will not be happening anytime soon right? That's what I thought!
Bob B February 15, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Wow, I had no idea that the taxpayers that employ these public servants - most of whom would be happy to make even half that amount - pay them such huge salaries (not to mention benefits). The 'blowing of his own horn Rick', whose rendition of what these 'servants' do for us is wishful thinking at best (see above), to the contrary not withstanding, I can see why our government (at all levels) is broke or soon will be. Our elected officials need to look at these public servant's salaries and benefits (and retirments) with the 'public' in mind.
Adam February 15, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Well--to put it in perspective, an E-5 with 4 years of service in our military gets about 30,000 a year. I for one agree that cops and firefighters should get paid generous salaries for the work they do. I think it takes a special type of person to do those jobs. When a gardener comes home from work he washes the dirt off his hands. Cops and firefighters come home from work and lots of them can't easily wash that "dirt" off their hands. They saw, were around or did very difficult things they didn't want to see or do. That is why I think they deserve these things. If you want them then apply for a new job!!
Lara Spence May 24, 2012 at 02:21 AM
From a firefighter. These wages make me laugh. I can not believe we are getting away with this. Most firefighters in CA are making close to what doctors in other states are making without paying a quarter million dollars in student loans to achieve this occupation. What is even better, is the reality that there are thousands of applicants that would take half the salary to wash hoses all day and watch TV at the fire department. California must not be so bad off after all.

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