While staffing remains an issue with the Graves County Sheriff’s Office, two additional deputies were sworn into service Monday to start the new year.
Graves County Special Circuit Court Judge Rob Mattingly swore in Peyton Jackson and Ben Doran to the sheriff’s office ranks.
“We’re very happy to have these two young men,” Sheriff Jon Hayden said. “It is a huge commitment for a person to get into this profession. They have to jump through a lot of hoops to get hired. We’re just glad there are people willing to make the sacrifices to get into this.”
Jackson, 22, is from Marshall County who served three years in the U.S. Army. He received an honorable discharge in December.
Doran, 34, is a former deputy jailer with the Graves County Jail. He and his wife and two children live in the Sedalia area.
Hayden said both deputies will enter the Department of Criminal Justice Training Academy this summer. Until then, they will perform security duties in and outside the Graves County Courthouse, which includes courtroom security, along with riding with other deputies for in-house training.
He also noted Chief Deputy Davant Ramage retired in December and former Capt. Jeremy Prince had been promoted to that position.
Hayden said his department is still not fully staffed with “a couple of openings.” An issue, he said, is salaries are not very competitive with other counties. To provide a pay raise to the deputies, he and Prince took on the responsibilities of a command staff position.
“It’s not costing the fiscal court any additional monies,” Hayden said. “Jeremy and I will have a lot more work to do ourselves, but we thought it was important to absorb one of the command staff positions to get our deputies a pay raise which they haven’t had in a while because of COVID and the financial situation a lot of governments are in right now.”
Also, Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney Richie Kemp announced former deputy Wade Heatherly has joined his office as a detective. Heatherly was also sworn in to his role Monday.
Kemp applauded Heatherly’s law enforcement career, which included his work leading courtroom security.
“I’ve known him many years, having prosecuted countless cases in District and Circuit Court while he was the head of courtroom security,” Kemp said. “(Detective) Heatherly is an experienced investigator with an extremely impressive career in law enforcement. His first day was Monday … and he has hit the ground running. We’re lucky to have him working with us.”