El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder announced Monday, July 2, the sheriff’s office will soon begin a new process of employing deputies in the jail who have not been certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training or P.O.S.T Board, as a way to save money.
Sheriff Elder says while attrition numbers are actually pretty normal right now, the goal is to hire more deputies without adding to the budget.
According to Elder, P.O.S.T Academy training is specifically for deputies working out on the streets, but many times this is training they wouldn’t use for the first few years they’re employed because they’re only handling detention of inmates in the jail.
These employees will still be allowed to carry a gun, they’ll wear the same uniforms and badge and they’re still considered peace officers. However, instead of getting all of their training in at once, they can focus on detaining inmates until they’re ready to be patrolling the streets and they’re being put to work in half the time.
Sheriff Elder says this will better train them how to deal with inmates and those deputies would later have the opportunity to be P.O.S.T certified.
This new process is in response to added inmates. Elder says it will mean more people available faster while reducing stress on jail personnel and adding more personnel overall.
Sheriff Elder said, “We are training specifically for the job they do and I believe that this is in-line with being conservative. Instead of me going back and asking the county commissioners for enough money to hire 40 to 50 additional deputies, we’re creating a way to do that without increasing our budget. To me, that is fiscally conservative.”
P.O.S.T Academy training is generally about 22 weeks. The detention-only training will be done in a nine week academy, with 45 people enrolled, happening twice a year.
Sheriff Elder says right now the department is losing five to six deputies a month, he guessed this new process will allow them to replace people faster.