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Boone Co. Sheriff’s Dept. still working to fill job openings

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is still understaffed. At the beginning of 2014, ABC 17 News checked and the department was short eight deputies in street patrols.

On Wednesday, the department said it still had three openings for deputies on the road, which the department said is a big improvement.

The jail is currently short 12 employees, down four from when ABC 17 News talked to the jail staff last year.

Detective Tom O’Sullivan with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said there may be several reasons why this is the case.

“Law enforcement is not for everybody,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s cyclical. I know when I joined law enforcement many years ago everyone wanted to get into the field. There was no shortage of applicants.”

He said he has a theory about today’s shortage of qualified applicants.

“I tend to think these protracted wars have taken a number of applicants that probably would have been in law enforcement if they weren’t still serving the military,” O’Sullivan said.

But road patrols aren’t the only division understaffed in the department.

The Boone County Jail is down 12 people as well.

But O’Sullivan said there are people in training for those jobs right now.

Although the department is still short-staffed, he said it’s in a much better position than last year.

He also said the turnover rate is not nearly as high as it was a decade ago.

“With the improvement in pay and benefits, we’re keeping a lot of guys,” O’Sullivan said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that have been here eight, 10 or 15 years.”

He also said the application process for the department is very demanding. They want to make sure the people they hire are well trained, plan to stick around for a while and are committed to the mission of the department.

Anyone interested in applying for an open deputy or jail position can learn more here.

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