RAPID CITY, S.D, (KOTA TV) - Nebraska offers cash as a way to recruit new officers but Pennington County is offering a special program allowing correctional officers to get paid just like the deputy sheriffs at nearly $22 an hour.
Pennington County is looking to hire more staffers.
There are 103 correctional officers working the jail and there are three openings to be filled. In the juvenile service center, about 40 staffers and a shortage of two.
Though there may not be many vacancies, every position is important.
"And if we don't have the people here to do it, somebody has to stay at work and that burns out our good staff. We need people to take care of our people and the people that we serve," Pennington County Sheriff's Office Human Resources Manager Steph McCoy said.
The Sheriff's Office has two major incentive programs which attract more employees. One way is through the employee referral bonus. It's when current employees get extra cash for referring another person to take a job. Another program making the county's agency stand out is the match pay and benefits program. It means a correctional officer is paid and receives the same benefits as a deputy sheriff.
Opportunities for promotion was also on Tami Rosser's mind, an officer who facilitates programs for inmates.
"There's a lot of room for advancements. The position I'm in right now, I worked hard for. I was given the opportunity for it. But as far as moving up to be a sergeant, lieutenant, captain that's available to everyone here," Pennington County Jail Programs Officer Tami Rosser said.
McCoy says fewer people apply because the profession is unknown.
While the job may be difficult, an inmate correctional officer says its the noblest profession.
"I answered the call when I left the military myself and was looking for a profession when I moved back here to Rapid City. Serving the local community is a great way to do that," Christopher Daniel, a correctional officer in the Pennington County jail, said.
The Pennigton County Sheriff's Office has a list of jobs