The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is reorganizing jail staff. They will no longer have deputies in the jail, but instead will be hiring full-time corrections officers. Sheriff Burchett has said the requirement for deputies to start their careers in the jail instead of on the road has hurt the office’s hiring and retention of staff. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Clark County Sheriff’s Office to begin hiring corrections officer

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is shaking up the organization of their jail staff in a move that the sheriff’s office says will save taxpayers $200,000 annually.

Effective immediately, the sheriff’s office will begin to hire corrections officers to work in the Clark County Jail instead of deputies.

“This is huge for our county,” said Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett.

Burchett said the change has been in the works for years.

UPDATE: Clark County’s new dispatch center in the works

She said in the past, the sheriff’s office has run into trouble in hiring and retaining qualified deputies — but earlier this week, the Clark County Commissioners approved a new contract that was agreed upon between the sheriff’s office and the Clark County Deputies Union in hopes to clear some of those hurdles.

The sheriff’s office said a major hangup has been when a new deputy is hired, their first job is in the jail — not on the road — and they’re only moved from the jail when a spot on road patrol opens up.

“They can basically work in the jail for (up to) four to five years before they ever get out onto road patrol,” Burchett said.

Under a new plan rolled out Friday, the office will start out hiring corrections officers who will work solely in the jail for the duration of their career.

Applicants need to be at least 18 and the sheriff’s office will provide the proper corrections training.

The officers will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the jail and the inmates.

The sheriff’s office estimates that the hiring of the corrections officers will save the county over $200,000 annually. A big chunk of the saving will stem from difference in wages between corrections officers and deputies.

The corrections officer’s wage will be $19 to $21 an hour , as well as benefits costs.

RELATED: Clark County Jail population declining over last five years

In 2019, the starting wage of a deputy was $18, plus benefits, but the sheriff’s office has increased the starting wage to approximately $25 — also as part of the new efforts to attract deputies.

“The beauty of this is it’s going to save tax dollars,” said Clark County Commissioner Lowell McGlothin. “This is about working together to make this a better community for all of us.”

There are about 50 deputies working in the jail right now, and those deputies can choose to continue working in the jail — but once they retire a corrections officer will take their place.

Deputies who don’t want to continue in their jail position will find their fits in different road positions like in a Clark County township or in a Clark County school serving as a school resource officer.

“That way they are paid for by them and not by the county. They pay for that deputy, so that saves the county even more money,” Burchett said.

Those interested in one of the six open corrections positions can find an application on policeapp.com.

The application is open until March 31, 2020.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X