Sheriff's Dispatch


Hello Benton County, with all the negativity we must suffer through, illegal immigration, nasty campaign ads and so many other issues we see on the news, I have some good news! As you are all aware there is, and has been, a nationwide crisis involving the shortage of law enforcement officers. Benton County was not immune to this travesty, all agencies near and far have suffered with shortages. We are on track to be fully staffed by early summer!

We could have filled our ranks sooner, but we have been very selective on who we put into our community, and I am proud to say we have fantastic employees!

We now offer a starting wage of $21.00 per hour with incentives for experience. This is up from $12.81 per hour when I took over as your sheriff. This has helped immensely, but there are two other more important factors. The first one, and the main reason we have quality personnel finding their way to our county, is you!

Every single person we have hired mentions wanting to work for a community that supports their law enforcement, and Benton County does just that. It’s nearly impossible for my staff to eat lunch in a public place without some amazing citizen buying their lunch. This is a humbling gesture that slightly embarrasses them, but they appreciate it more than words can say. You show your support with a wave and a friendly hello, or by showing up at the office with baked goods. You bring in toys for children, which the deputies hand out during their shift, and you donate to our projects. You’ve formed a group, the Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s office, made up of involved citizens who want to actively make a difference in our community with the sheriff’s office. Our community is amazing and the appreciation from myself and my staff cannot be understated.

The other reason is, you have a patriotic sheriff who supports the Constitution. One who fights for his employees and fights for our community against state and Federal overreach. This has made a difference to those joining our ranks, and those who have stayed through all the challenges. I am very proud of what we have built together. The new jail and sheriff’s office has been a huge success. We now provide a safe working environment for our staff. We brought in over two million dollars in 2023 for our county, and we have created 26 new positions with a starting wage of $19.00 per hour or more, for experienced personnel. Thank you for placing your trust in me, together, we will continue to make positive changes in Benton County, we will do more.

-Sheriff Eric Knox