The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners last week unanimously approved the use up to $4.6 million in county reserve funds to pay for retention bonuses for sheriff”s office and corrections department employees.
Why it matters: The move aims to address ongoing challenges these departments have faced and attracting and retaining workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where will the money go? The funding will go toward the sheriff’s office and corrections department — both of which, county staff said, don’t have the means in their existing budgets to pay for retention incentives.
- The approved funds break down into maximum yearly totals of $2.3 million in each of the years 2022 and 2023.
- That will be divided into $1.7 million per year for the sheriff’s office and $700,000 for the corrections department.
- Employees in these two units can individually get up to $3,000 in retention bonus pay for both this year and next year with the funding.
Why it matters: Both the sheriff’s office and the corrections department have surpassed a 20% vacancy rate this year.
- As of June, the sheriff’s office had 48 deputy position vacancies — 38 of which were deputy positions at the county jail.
- According to county data, 26% of deputy posts at the county’s detention centers are staffed by current deputies working overtime.
What they’re saying: “We are struggling, at least in some areas of the organization, to be able to recruit and retain,” said deputy county manager Maury Thompson.