Staffing shortages impacting Douglas County Jail

Staffing shortages impacting Douglas County Jail
Staffing shortages impacting Douglas County Jail(CBS 3 Duluth)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 9:06 PM CDT
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SUPERIOR, WI. (CBS 3 Duluth) - Staffing shortages at the Douglas County Jail are impacting both officers and inmates, and leaders are now using new tactics to recruit applicants.

Capt. Tyler Edwards has been working at the Douglas County Jail for nearly 25 years.

“It’s interesting,” he said. “It’s never boring. I’ve always found it to be very fulfilling.”

He said he enjoys the job, but it’s become increasingly stressful since the start of the pandemic as the jail faces ongoing staffing shortages.

“Even if we’re down a couple of staff, it causes a strain on everybody, including the inmates,” said Edwards.

Lieutenant of Jail Operations, Stacy Minter, said now, leaders are using techniques to recruit more applicants.

“We had to start new,” Minter said. “We sat down with our county administrators, like ‘What can we do different?’”

They increased pay, got rid of a civil exam previously required for officers to pass before getting hired, lowered the intensity of physical qualifications for correctional officers and streamlined the hiring process.

“From application to interview could have been up to weeks at a time,” Minter said. “But now, we’re getting all of that done in one day, hopefully.”

They understand jails are not alone in dealing with staffing shortages. However, they feel it’s an especially important job to fill now.

“We can’t just close down or run short,” said Edwards. “So, we really feel it when we’re down.”

They’ll be holding a job fair Monday at the Government Center in Superior, where they will be immediately interviewing applicants who qualify.

You just must be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma, a valid driver’s license, pass a background check and basic physical exam.

They said they’re hoping to hire at least six more officers to get them to a more comfortable position with staffing.

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