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AUBURN — The retirement age for DeKalb County sheriff’s deputies has been reduced from 55 to 52 years old.

DeKalb County Commissioners approved the change Monday at the suggestion of Ron Dicke, president of the Sheriff’s Merit Board.

The board is looking for “ways we can help retain these folks and not break the bank,” Dicke said about sheriff’s deputies. He said keeping deputies is “a real problem, now, in law enforcement” locally and elsewhere.

Dicke estimated the change in retirement age would increase the county budget by approximately $4,000 per year. He said that would be “a small investment for a long-term effect” by improving benefits.

An aggressive strategy for investing the deputies’ retirement funds resulted in an increase of more than 30% or $1.2 million last year, Dicke said. The strategy has been moderated this year, he added.

Commissioner Mike Watson commended the sheriff’s merit board for being “excellent stewards of the money we have available.”

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