(FOX) — One Missouri Sheriff’s office is experiencing its own self-contained baby boom, with law enforcement officers there welcoming a whopping 17 babies — all this year.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Hillsboro, Mo. shared behind-the-scenes footage from a photo shoot featuring most of the tots and the “new deputy dads” on the JCSO Facebook page.
Fourteen of the 17 deputies, their wives and babies gathered Monday in Jefferson County for the photo session, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The deputies were in uniform and so were the babies, though in their case that meant matching onesies with deputy badges printed on them.
The two most recent additions were reportedly only 10 days old when the photos were taken.
“It’s important that we support our families,” Sheriff Dave Marshak said, according to the Post-Dispatch. “For us, this is good.”
Jefferson County’s estimated population is around 224,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is Missouri’s sixth-most populated county, according to Missouri demographics.
The police parents have reportedly been joking that the influx of infants is related to the passing of Proposition P, a property tax increase passed in 2018 that increased resources — including pay raises — for the sheriff’s office.
The starting salary for a deputy was reportedly $37,902 before the passage of Proposition P. The entry-level salary is now $50,300, according to the sheriff office’s website — a significant bump, especially considering all the diapers the new parents are going to need for their “Prop P babies.”
“I think it’s more than a coincidence,” Sgt. Matt Moore told the Post-Dispatch. “It certainly gives you a lot more flexibility in starting a family if you’ve got more income. Kids aren’t getting any cheaper these days.”
Marshak had reportedly warned of a possible “mass exodus” of deputies if the measure didn’t pass, adding that, with Prop P in place, new recruits are coming from neighboring communities.