The Gila County Sheriff's Office deputies serving in Young will now get an extra $500 a month. The additional money is to compensate the area's resident deputies for the higher expenses of living in a remote community.
"This is something new for Gila County," said Sheriff John Armer. The Department of Public Safety has long provided extra money to its officers stationed in remote areas, such as Kayenta on the Navajo Reservation.
Up until this year the GCSO had two resident deputies serving in the Young area. One retired in December, the other, Dave Hornung, left the force in March to go into a family business.
Since then, the residents of Young have had a reserve officer, Will Kerr, who is retired from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, patrol the community two or three times a week. His efforts were supplemented by regular officer patrols when staffing allowed it, Armer said.
"Even in good weather, it is at least an hour-and-a-half from Young to Payson, and it's two hours to Globe, and that road is not an all-weather road, so it's not unusual to have the road closed," Armer said.
The sheriff made the request for the remote duty pay at the Sept. 5 meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors.
With the approval -- $10,000 from the GCSO budget for 2006-2007, and $12,000 thereafter -- Armer said they were able to attract Hornung back to the job. He said he has heard there are two candidates interested in the second position, one who is currently serving with the GCSO and another from out of the area.
"It will take three to four months to get the second person in place," Armer said. In the meantime, Kerr will continue to assist in patrolling Young.