SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – It was graduation day for the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.
Eleven men and women will now join the ranks as a detention deputy, a position that the sheriff says he constantly has a difficult time filling for a variety of reasons.
“I am just happy to be here and can’t wait to start,” says Jonathan Morales, a graduate.
And their services are needed.
“Folks that are interested in a law enforcement career, please apply with us, we need the help,” says Sheriff Jeff Easter.
With Friday’s graduation, the amount of open detention deputy positions is 36. The sheriff says that number is still high. He says the job comes with good county benefits like medical, dental, as well as sick leave and good retirement plans. He says many of his deputies often get jaded by the work itself. He says it is long hours inside working with pre-convicted inmates. Easter says the department also has a low retention rate, but sometimes that is actually a good thing for the detention deputies.
“We lose a lot to other law enforcement agencies, which I am perfectly fine with,” says Easter. “Most of the individuals that come in to interview tell us, they want to be law enforcement officers and we will help them realize that goal.”
“Just graduated the academy, 11 long weeks, but it was worth it,” says detention deputy Jonathan Morales.
As a new recruit, Morales sees this as an opportunity.
“This is a stepping stone hopefully to get out to the road and I am happy to be here,” says Morales.
That first opportunity for grads does leave the sheriff with more challenges, knowing that he’ll be lucky to get 2-3 years out of his detention deputies.
“We create some of our own issues within the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office because it is my philosophy that the detention facility is a first step into law enforcement,” says Easter.
Still, this job is a way of providing community service for Morales. It’s a tough job he feels fit to do.
“It is kind of hit or miss with detention, a lot of people don’t know what we do. We are the ones in the jail, we work 24/7 a lot, and we are the one’s dealing with the bad guys. But it is knowing I am helping the community that is what I want to do.”
The sheriff says they plan to open a new class that you can apply for in July.