The Fourth of July marked a special day for many of our county’s public safety personnel. For the first time, front-line deputies, corrections officers, EMTs, dispatchers and firefighters in the county who worked a shift on the observed holiday received a pay incentive.
During this year’s budget process, I asked County Council to consider paying public safety personnel extra pay for working on holidays. Council ultimately agreed to pay them for eight of the 13 designated county holidays. We were able to make this budget addition without any tax increases whatsoever.
Our community heroes make great sacrifices every day for the citizens they serve. While Lexington County residents are enjoying their holiday celebrations, meals and fellowship with their families—our public safety personnel are responding to calls for service, patrolling the streets and staffing our jail. They’re risking their lives to ensure we have a safe place to call home.
It is often a difficult task to recruit and retain quality public safety employees across the country, a calling for the dedicated few. Applicants interested in these professions are looking closely at benefit packages before choosing an agency with which to serve. Unfortunately, our county was behind the times in not paying front-line public safety employees extra for holiday shifts; a perk most local agencies already have in place. I am proud to offer this holiday pay as an aspect of our benefits package. It will go a long way in thanking our employees for their hard work and commitment.
On behalf of all of the men and women in uniform, I want to thank our County Council for taking a step in the right direction by compensating our employees for their service on major holidays. I am hopeful and look forward to covering all 13 county-observed holidays in the future.