Commission Hire 9 more for new jail

The Cole County Commission on Thursday authorized the sheriff’s department to hire nine more personnel for the new county jail. But, the commission and sheriff are still working on what the total staff size should be for the jail.

Bringing these nine on board, which allows four current staff members to be moved to sergeant positions, will bring the total jail personnel from 24 to 33.

The sheriff’s department is putting the new hires through a three-week corrections academy taught by sheriff’s personnel. This is followed by two months of field training before the new hires are able to work on their own. They also have to be trained on the new computer and electronic equipment that will be used at the new jail and go through medical training.

During the regular commission meeting Thursday, Sheriff Greg White requested authority for 10 positions. But after much discussion, he and the commission agreed on nine.

The commissioners and sheriff spent more time discussing the number for a third and final personnel request.

Under the sheriff’s proposal, eight more personnel would be hired — one sergeant, two deputies and five jailers. Those hires bring the final total to 41. The sergeant, one deputy and the jailers would primarily be used for transporting between the old jail/detention facility and the new jail along with taking prisoners throughout the courthouse for court proceedings. If they are not needed for these duties, they could be used to do things such as laundry or meals at the new jail.

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