Many police and sheriff’s departments are having trouble keeping their officers, and spokesman for two major law enforcement organizations in Missouri point to paychecks as the cause. Spokesmen for the Missouri Police Chiefs Association and the Missouri Sheriff’s Association say law enforcement is a calling, that people who get into the field don’t get into it for the money. But many officers and deputies can’t STAY in it—because of the money. Beginning officers in outstate Missouri often start at well under 20-thouand dollars a year. Executive Director Sheldon Lineback with the police chiefs association says that’s not much for the responsibilities those people carry. His counterpart with the sheriff’s association, Mick Covington, is more blunt. He says some peace officers can make more money asking customers “if they want fries with that.” Covington says the average deputy sheriff in Missouri makes 22-thouand dollars a year. More than 90 counties have deputy’s salaries that make those officers eligible for food stamps. Police and sheriff’s officers are paid from local taxes. The state does not provide help with training costs, salaries or benefits although both Covington and Lineback point out their officers are enforcing state as well as local laws. Both say it’s time the state invested some of its money in local law enforcement.