BEND, OR -- Six new Corrections Deputies will be sworn in Tuesday at the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, in an ongoing effort to get the jail up to full staffing. Sgt. William Bailey acknowledges it's a slow process. "The training process takes some time, to get a deputy from the hiring date until they’re on their own doing the job of a deputy. That can take nine months, approximately. A patrol deputy can take even longer, depending, because the academy is longer."
The Corrections Department has struggled to reach full staffing in recent years
, due to retirements, promotions and several internal investigations. Sgt. Bailey says the Sheriff's Office is doing a better job recruiting qualified employees who will stay for the long-haul, "Right now, we’re using the National Testing Network, which is opening up our applicant pool across the nation. Then, it’s going through a good hiring process: interviews and a thorough background check and really vetting these people that we’re bringing on at our agency, and making sure they’re a right fit; making sure they're going to fall in line with the values and mission statement of our agency, and the customer service-oriented nature that Sheriff Nelson expects."
Captain Michael Shults, the new Corrections Division Commander, tells KBND News that after three Deputies were sworn in in January
and another in March, four openings remain. He admits the concept of "full staffing" at the jail is a moving target because staff get promoted or move to the Patrol Division, and in one recent instance, moved out of the area.