The Houston County Detention Center is hiring new detention deputies to keep an eye on inmates.
The jail administrator says it's all part of a push to make the inside of the jail safer for inmates and deputies.
But he says being a detention deputy is not for everyone.
Jail Administrator and Major with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Alan Everidge, says they're hiring more detention deputies to make the jail safer for everyone.
“Currently we've been working with one deputy in the pod, of course that creates some stress on the deputies, but it also creates some security issues and we've had a couple instances where deputies were involved in altercations and our goal is to try and get it to where we have two deputies in every pod,” Everidge said Friday.
The jail has 12 pods and has a capacity to hold 665 inmates. Right now, the jail only has 456 and only 10 of the pods are full. Each pod can hold 70-80 inmates.
One deputy is still recovering after a punch from an inmate broke a bone in his eye socket before Easter.
This week, the Houston County Commission approved a budget change at the Sheriff's Office allowing them to hire six more detention deputies.
Everidge says the job is not an easy one to fill.
“We're looking for good, top quality people who want to serve their community, not just looking for a job or looking for a career. And, it's a great way to serve your community,” Everidge said.
He also said they’re looking for people that aren’t bullies, but also aren’t easily pushed around.
They're looking for people like Tavaris Boyd. Boyd has worked at the Detention Center two years and says the job is rewarding, but tough.
“You're running, you're constantly upstairs, sometimes when we have to, you know we may have to get into a physical altercation or something like that and you know you don't get any notice, you don't get any prep. You just have to get into it,” Boyd told WMAZ Friday.
Boyd says he does it because he takes pride in Houston County and works with good people. He said he’s never been physically assaulted, but has had to deal with physical altercations while on the job.
Boyd called the job rewarding because he said he knows he's making a difference in the County and when people see him in uniform around the County they thank him.
The average starting salary is $39,000 a year and Boyd says the benefits are great for him and his family.
In addition to the 6 new positions, the Sheriff's Office has 7 other detention deputy openings for a total of 13. When fully staffed, the jail will employ 84 detention deputies and 146 sworn-in deputies overall.
Everidge says that even with the 6 new deputies they still won’t be able to staff every pod with pairs, but it will help ease the burden.
The Sheriff’s Office and Everidge were able to save enough money in other places to make room in the budget for the new openings.
New detention deputies make $16.38 an hour, work 7 out of 14 days, and have 12-hour shifts.
To be considered, applicants have to pass a physical assessment, drug test, background check, polygraph, and a standardized test at Central Georgia Technical College.
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