Talk to law enforcement officials in Ohio and they will tell you that finding qualified applicants for correctional officer jobs at area jails has not been easy.
For example, applicants in Green, Warren and Miami counties are failing to pass either the written, psychological and physical tests or the background checks. Although Montgomery County officials have not experienced difficulties hiring officers, they are instead struggling to keep the correctional officers they currently have.
Sheriff Gene Fischer in Greene County is attempting to bring 10 correctional officers on board so he can reach his goal of 82 correctional officers. In 2009, Greene County laid off 10 correctional officers due, in part, to the closure of the jail in Xenia. The county is now actively trying to hire new officers due to an increase in the sheriff office’s $12.5 million budget.
Fischer says that they are simply unable to find qualified people to fill these positions. For example, in November there were 63 applicants who showed to take the corrections officer exam; in 2012 there were 96 applicants; a 34 percent decrease.
Earlier this month, Miami County was looking to hire 4 more correctional officers as to reach the maximum number of their budget (48). The additional correctional officers are needed to run the newly opened addition to the jail. The Miami County Sheriff has given the corrections officers test 4 times this year along in attempt to find qualified correctional office. Many of the candidates, he said, were not hired because they were not able to pass either the lie detector test or the oral and psychological assessments.
In Warren County, the trouble lies with finding qualified female corrections officer candidates, says the county sheriff. Sheriff Sims says that the pool continues to dwindle as candidates are unable to pass the written, physical or psychological tests.