The Mercer County Boyle County Joint Jail Commission met Friday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. at the Mercer County Fiscal Courthouse. The two topics that were met with the most concern were the recruitment and retention of officers and the health of inmates when admitted.
Mercer County Attorney Ted Dean asked if the approval of $1.50 per hour pay raise by the Mercer and Boyle Fiscal Courts had helped in finding qualified help for the detention center.
Boyle County Jailer Brian Wofford said four officers had been hired, but have to complete 120 hours of training before they can man posts alone at the Boyle County Detention Center (BCDC). Wofford asked the commission to consider raising the starting pay to $15 an hour and to work to raise all currently employed guards to $15 an hour. BCDC does not offer hazardous retirement pay and staff are leaving for higher paying jobs.
“We are all competing for the same positions and we aren’t paying as much. If we don’t take steps we will be running understaffed and may have to close the jail,” said Wofford.