Contra Costa County in California has lost more than $1 million over the past five years as dozens of sheriff's deputies it pays to recruit and train have left for higher-paying jobs elsewhere, reports the Contra Costa Times.

The steady departure of deputies -- more than 100 have resigned in the last two years -- is a growing issue for both the undermanned Sheriff's Office and county supervisors, who will soon begin contract talks with the Deputy Sheriffs Association.

Addressing the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sheriff David Livingston made the case for a big pay boost, saying that the struggle to retain deputies had forced him to disband his crime-suppression team and reduce patrols. As a result, response times for top priority calls are up about two minutes.

While Contra Costa is losing its young deputies, Livingston remains opposed to following the lead of cities such as Oakland in making recent academy graduates repay a portion of their schooling cost if they leave within the first few years after graduation.