COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)- Across the country, law enforcement is facing tremendous challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified candidates for employment.
Muscogee County Sheriff's Office has examined new approaches to recruiting. Since they are able to hire Correctional Officers at age eighteen, they will make an effort to recruit graduating high school seniors who do not have immediate college or military plans.
The program will be a structured mentorship program providing a professional career opportunity in law enforcement. This entry-level job opportunity will allow graduates, eighteen years of age and older, to enter the workforce as a Correctional Officer with a starting salary over $34,000 a year including benefits.
Over the past few months, they have had over 90 seniors register and state their interest in the program. As part of the recruitment program, they communicate with parents and explain the program to eliminate any fears they may have about their child entering this career field.
Upon initial hiring, recruits will be scheduled to attend the Basic Jail Course as a group that will be for two weeks. For recruits, after completion of training, they will be assigned to the County Jail in sub-groups, where each recruit will be assigned a mentor. For the first fifteen months, they will work directly with, and under the supervision of their mentor in all aspects of their job.
Along with these things, it allows for opportunities for growth in the work field. After reaching age twenty-one, participants will be eligible to attend the Regional Police Academy which is eleven weeks of training. By completing the Police Academy, the participant will be a Certified Peace Officer for the State of Georgia. With the successful completion of the academy, the participant will be sworn as a Deputy Sheriff with a salary of $39,167.
The Muscogee County Sheriff's Office advocates for higher education and wants to work with participants on scheduling so they can attend college classes. They are hoping this initiative will provide a meaningful career opportunity that benefits young men and women as well as the community.