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Lucas County Sheriff combating working shortage with higher wages

The new pay of $19.73 an hour will take effect with the next class starting the Tuesday after Labor Day.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Recruitment efforts are going well at the Lucas County Sheriff's Office, according to Sheriff Mike Navarre. 

The corrections division is short-staffed, so they've been looking for more applicants.

The sheriff has been pleased with the overall recruitment efforts for corrections officers since the push started in April. They've had interest from 179 people in the last two months, some of whom have already passed a physical agility test.

"Part of that is we were able to raise the wage," Navarre said. "The starting wage was extremely low and hard to compete, both with employers in the public and private sector, but we were able to raise the wage $4.50 an hour."

The new pay of $19.73 an hour will take effect with the next class starting the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Due to the shortage of workers, the current staff at the sheriff's office is having to work a lot of overtime.

"When you do that repeatedly, you're going to lose employees and that worries me because I don't want to lose employees I've invested in and trained," Navarre said.

So he's made a change: starting July 1, the officers will be working 12-hour shifts which allows them to get more days off, as well as every other weekend. 

A class of 12 will graduate Thursday, June 24 and although he was hoping for around 30, the sheriff thinks he will have that number or more come this fall.