WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — County commissioners approved a 5% pay raise for all Williamson County law enforcement employees earlier this week.

Tenured staff will also get an increase between 1% and 5%. This averages to a 7% increase across all law enforcement employees.

“There’s probably not a more challenging time to be in law enforcement, and I thank all the men and women who do serve in that role for what they do,“ Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long said in a release.

Williamson County Commissioners Court approved the raises Tuesday for the 2022-23 fiscal year budget, which begins in October. All employees who have worked in the county for one year will increase one step in the tenure chart on Oct. 1.

These pay raises affect employees in the sheriff’s office, constables’ offices, district attorney’s office, corrections office and County Attorney’s Office.

Last August, Sheriff Mike Gleason said the WCSO’s average pay was behind neighboring cities, which affected the number of applicants the office received compared to other police departments. Gleason asked commissioners for pay increases in last year’s budget.

In a Tuesday release, the county said it increased law enforcement salaries 11% in three cost-of-living adjustments since 2018. This is in addition to a 2% annual tenure increase. It said corrections employees’ wages have increased 21% through three COLA increases since 2018.

The county said it changed its “tenure step structure” in June 2021 to “create a higher paying career path with increases at a faster rate.”