VERNON COUNTY, Mo. — You won’t see any “Help Wanted” signs outside the Vernon County Jail anytime soon. After more than two years of struggling with recruitment, the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that the County Jail is now fully staffed.
“The trend nation wide has kind of had a down-turn, you know, effect on law enforcement. People that want to get into law enforcement – whether it be starting out patrolling on the roads, working in jail, working in dispatch, it’s just not as popular for people to want to do now. And jails have always struggled with that because of the nature of jail work. So, you know, we’re really blessed to be able to say that we’re full when we know there’s other agencies really struggling.” Jason Mosher, Vernon County Sheriff.
They also have an academy program at the jail to train the hired staff, where there are currently eight recruits going through the 30-day fieldwork.
“They go through their certifications, uh, they get certified in taser, less-lethal, um, you know, there’s just so much information that they can gain, um, in a group setting where they can discuss things, talk about it. Um, once they graduate that portion of it, um, then they actually go to the jail and they get assigned a trainer, um, then they go through a length of time where they’re doing their hands-on portion in the jail,” he added.
“So, if we can kind of get them in the door now, that definitely helps them in their career, long – you know, down the future, and it gets them more prepared, more ready,” said Lt. Tycher Blakely, Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.
This comes just after the Office’s pay increase last month—from $13 an hour to $16 an hour.
“Most of our detention officers were making less than a lot of the people at fast-food places in our area. You know, it’s not an ideal job to come to already, the stuff that they have to deal with on a daily basis, and then on top of it, to be some of the lowest paid people in our community is just, you know, should never happen,” said Mosher.