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Census drop may not cut sheriff’s salary

NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield’s pay rate may be unaffected by the 2010 census drop.

County attorney Scott Slover said upon reading the laws regarding sheriff’s pay rates, the law contains what may be consider a “floor” for pay rates, but that he’s still checking to confirm with the Mississippi Attorney General’s office.

Pay rates for Mississippi’s county sheriffs are set based on eight pay levels, each tied to a different population range as determined by the federal census.

Slover noticed on Thursday, however, that the Mississippi Code contains a line that indicates sheriffs should never be paid less than the level determined by the 1980 census numbers.

If that’s the case, Mayfield — and other future sheriffs — is in luck, because the 1980 census showed Adams County’s highest population in more than 100 years at 38,035.

The 2010 census showed a population — including incarcerated prisoners — of 32,297, or approximately 15 percent less than the 1980 population.

If the attorney general’s office confirms the language of the “floor,” Mayfield’s base salary would remain at $72,000 per year. If not confirmed, the census level range would drop his salary to $62,400.

In addition to his base pay, since 2007 Adams County sheriffs earn an additional $10,000 supplement each year, to bring his total annual compensation to $82,000.