It is probably not a coincidence that my number one goal addresses not only the most important thing to the employees of the Payette County Sheriff’s Office, those who have the largest direct impact on our community, but also accounts for over 75% of the Sheriff’s budget. The single resource I am speaking of is our staff. Payette County has over 50 dedicated employees who are responsible for serving and keeping our community safe. Each position at the Payette County Sheriff’s Office is essential in the overall mission of our Office and the safety of our community.
We have 52 total positions and 3 current openings. Over the last few years, the Sheriff’s Office has experienced a high rate of turnover. Employees leave for a multitude of reasons, however the majority of employees leaving the Payette County Sheriff’s Office site compensation, benefits and job satisfaction as reasons for leaving. I prepared a research paper on employee retention and how it affects the Payette County Sheriff’s office. Below is the problem statement for the research paper.
In recent years the Payette County Sheriff’s Office has seen a tremendous amount of staff turnover in their patrol, dispatch, and jail divisions.
Between 2013 and 2016, the Patrol division had a 55% reduction of staff due to resignation. The Payette County Sheriff’s Office lost one deputy in 2013, two in 2015, and three in 2016 (Payette County Sheriff's Office, 2019).
During this time period, the Payette County Sheriff’s Office transferred staff from the Jail division to the Patrol division, decreasing certified jail staff by one-half. Since that time, the Payette County Sheriff’s Office has been continuously seeking applications and hiring Jail Deputies.
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office created a new position in Dispatch in Fiscal Year 2018. We have hired four new employees for that position. Three of the employees resigned prior to completing the field training program (Payette County Sheriff's Office, 2019).
The hiring process has impacted the Payette County Sheriff’s Office in four ways.
2. The quality of new employees has been impacted. The Payette County Sheriff’s Office observed that during this time most applicants do not meet the minimum requirements that are set by the State of Idaho (Idaho POST Academy, 2014) (State of Idaho, 2019).
3. In this time period, the number of applications submitted for each position has significantly decreased, indicating a lack of interest for employment with this office.
4. The Payette County Sheriff’s Office was understaffed by up to 20% throughout this three-year period putting strain on the current employees (Payette County Sheriff's Office, 2019).
The average annual cost for hiring, training and equipping new deputies is $190,000.
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office has been in a constant state of recruiting and training new employees. This constant process causes a shortage of personnel and a lack of experienced staff. This high turnover impacts our community.
The shortage of staff is most apparent in our Jail Division where Jail Deputies are routinely called in to cover shifts and medical transports. This causes the Jail Deputies to work additional hours, until the budget will allow us to fill the open positions. Most Jail Deputies are carrying over 500 hours of comp time and 322 hours of PTO. When Jail Deputies resign from the Sheriff’s Office, we typically pay them out for an additional 4 months’ worth of wages because of these balances.
I will find ways to address the turnover and resolve it so that the turnover is at a lower rate. I have researched the areas of compensation, benefits, and job satisfaction and will work with the Board of County Commissioners to identify ways to implement solutions. I have set the following goals:
Achieving my four goals will encourage longevity and employee satisfaction.
Which in turn, will help the Sheriff’ Office provide better service to the community by maintaining a full staff of employees who are equally well trained and experienced in their positions.
Please follow this blog every Monday over the next several weeks. This series will help voters understand the challenges we face, what has been done in the past, and what we can do in the future to address these challenges.
Schedule of Posts:
April 13th Employee Retention
April 20th Jail Population
April 27th Dispatch Operations
May 4th Patrol Division Call Load
May 11th Civic Engagement
May 18th Recap of the last six weeks
The Primary Election is May 19th, 2020, and Lt. Creech encourages all voters to vote by absentee ballot. https://idahovotes.gov/vote-early-idaho/
A candidate that believes in partnership with citizens to make our communities safer.