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BIG PINEY, WY - Patrol Sergean Mike Peterson, at the Sublette County fair in Big Piney, Wy. on August 6, 2005. The Sheriff's department is struggling with retention of officers as the younger officers who are less committed to the profession struggle with a lack of affordable housing in the community. With an average deputy's salary at about $40,000 a year several on the force have been lured away by gas field wages. A starting roughneck with performance and safety bonuses can earn upwards of $400 a day while an engineer running a well logging truck can earn roughly $140,000 a year. Sheriff Bardin's son works the gas fields and, Bardin says, almost definitely earns more than his father the county sheriff.
- © Copyright 2005 Tim Matsui, All Rights Reserved
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