Deaf Smith County jail seeking more jailers to open

VIDEO: Deaf Smith County jail seeking more jailers to open
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 3:30 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:08 PM CST
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DEAF SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KFDA) - The new $32 million Deaf Smith County jail is still sitting partially empty due to staffing issues needing more jailers before they are able to move inmates in.

Current dispatch and other office workers are in the new building, but staff is still split.

“We are hiring a lot. We are at about 40 hired right now and we do have some in background and testing, where that would get us to the point to where we need to be with a number to safely open,” said J. Dale Butler, sheriff of Deaf Smith County Sheriff’s Office.

Inmates are currently at the old jail and other facilities which comes at a price.

“It can be anywhere from $45 a day to $75 a day per person,” said Butler.

Deaf Smith is not able to move inmates into the new jail until they are able to house more than 140 of the current inmates, which will take three pods to safely bring them in.

“My job is to run a safe and secure jail and if you don’t have enough people, you can run into a lot of contraband being snuck in, or assaults on inmates or assaults on staff. That just leads to liability for the county which can cost a lot of money. These are the reasons that we’re trying to get the proper amount to hit all our marks for jail standards and to make sure everybody is safe and secure,” said Butler.

If the current applicants pass their background check, they will still need a couple of weeks of training before inmates can be moved into the pods.

The jail expects to have the remaining positions filled, trained and ready for inmates in six to eight weeks.

Applications are still open, to apply click here.