Commissioners to consider special events pay raise for off-duty deputies is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Filming for 'Under the Dome' got underway last week in Burgaw and continues this week in Wilmington. Photo courtesy CBS.
Filming for the now-canceled CBS series ‘Under the Dome’ required off-duty deputies to handle traffic and crowd issues. (Courtesy photo)

New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputies who are contracted out to work on film sets and other special events could get a pay increase.

Currently, deputies who volunteer for the jobs when they are off official duty are paid $30 an hour for a minimum of four hours of work. However, $6 goes to administration fees, making the take home pay $24 an hour.

“The Sheriff has experienced difficulty recruiting deputies to work at the current rate and has requested to increase the contract rate to $36,” states a document provided to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. “The county would continue to retain $6 per hour to cover administrative expenses, while $30 per hour would be paid to the deputy.”

If approved, the impact on the current budget would be less than $5,000, and as there are enough funds, a budget amendment would not be necessary. For the next year’s budget, it is expected to cause an increase to both revenues and expenditures of $83,754. According to the document, the new fees would not have a net impact on the county.

Board Chair Beth Dawson said the issue was brought to her attention by crews filming shows in the area.

“They’re looking for more officers,” Dawson said. “They need that extra security.”

Commissioner Rob Zapple pointed out that while productions hire private security, they do not have the authority to do things that law enforcement officers can.

“It’s more than just providing security. It’s closing roads, directing traffic, and things like that,” Zapple said. “These are very specific and very special services they provide.”

The item is on the Board of Commissioners consent agenda for their Monday, June 6 meeting. It starts at 4 p.m. at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse in downtown Wilmington.