PCSD considers adding corrections officer shifts to deputy training

Sheriff considers options to ease staffing shortage
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 6:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is working to overcome an ongoing corrections officer shortage at its jail.

“We’re down over 100 bodies in that jail in terms of staffing and it’s hard because it’s a hard job. Not everybody wants that job. I had that job. Hardest job I’ve ever had,” said Sheriff Chris Nanos.

Sheriff Nanos is working to fill gaps at the jail. He’s found it much easier to recruit deputies than corrections officers and says the department has hired about 120 deputies over the past year.

“Now say you want to be a deputy and we want you to be a deputy, but I think there’s some value in you being a corrections officer,” he said. “The value is that you learn the gift of gab, ability to communicate, deescalate, to look at situations and say let’s slow this down.”

He’s considering having deputies work as a corrections officer for about six months as part of their training. Sheriff Nanos said this is already happening in other places like San Diego County, LA County, Coconino County and El Paso County.

“They all require you to do two years in corrections before you get in a car and start patrolling the streets so we’re looking at that as a way to deal with it because it’s a hard job to recruit for,” he said.

He said the department is still working out the details on how working as a corrections officer could become part of deputy training.

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