The hiring of new correctional officers and newly promoted deputies by the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the purchase of new 2020 Dodge Chargers and Ford Explorers, were announced during the Safety Committee & Beer Board meeting Tuesday.
Major Jason Walker said August was productive with two of the 13 correctional officer positions, and all the deputy and investigator positions, being filled. Three correctional officers were promoted to road deputies and a veteran officer from DeKalb County was added.
Three will be sent to the Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy with one already undergoing training. Five new correctional officers have also been hired.
“We’ve been hiring correctional officers for the past several months,” said Warren County Sherriff Tommy Myers. “We’ve had to replace the three who are going on the road as deputies, and we’ve had to replace the two who’ve retired as well.”
Since four correctional officers were promoted from working inside the jail to being deputies, and two correctional officers retired, the Sherriff’s Department actually hired seven correctional officers altogether, but only two of those go toward the 16 new positions approved by the county to be hired.
“We are doing interviews almost every day and getting people through all of the testing, such as physical, psychological and drug tests,” said Walker. “Three or four people are getting hired in and trained at one time, and then more are being brought in the next month. It seems better than throwing a bunch of individuals out there at one time.”
Video arraignments are being done at Warren County Court-house. By using video equipment, it allows the inmate to remain at the jail while being formally informed of the charges against them by a judge. This saves in transportation and manpower costs.
Two new 2020 Dodge Chargers have come through on a state bid. The two vehicles came out of the county’s drug funds and have already been ordered, but have yet to arrive. Another bid is currently up for four new 2020 Ford Explorers. The bid for the four Explorers and proper equipment for the vehicles is expected to close within the next couple of weeks.
The Explorers had to be rebid since the previous bid was for hybrid units. The extra cost for the hybrids would add up to be around $12,000. As officials looked over the cost of what fuel savings would be versus the average life on the road of the hybrid vehicle, the overall profit didn’t add up so the bid was put back out.
A meeting with ESG and a security lock company was held Tuesday afternoon. Another presentation will be held at a later date regarding locks, cameras and other vital technology. The department is on track to get started on reclassification of inmates to sort how everyone is housed inside the jail.
“I’m very excited about our jail moving forward,” says Myers. “We’re happy to have the new deputies and correctional officers. It’s a lot of work to do right now, but it’s been a long time coming. We’re working really hard to get to the new direction we want to go.”