Archive for Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Demands of growth hit sheriff’s office

October 18, 2006

While discussion brews about a larger county annex in Tonganoxie to serve a growing population, sheriff's officials are seeing a need for more officers.

Leavenworth County Undersheriff Ron Cranor is urging qualified people -- who want to work with the department for an extended time -- to apply for a job with the sheriff's office.

¢ Applications for sheriff's office positions are available at the justice center in Leavenworth. Applications also can found at the sheriff's office link on the county's Web site, leavenworthcounty.org.

¢ Completed applications may be dropped off or mailed to the sheriff's office at 601 S. Third St., Suite 2007, ATTN: Personnel, Leavenworth 66048.

¢ To be a detention officer, applicants must be 19; deputies must be at least 21.

¢ Applicants must have at least a general educational development (GED) certificate or high school diploma and must pass a drug test and physical. The office also performs extensive background checks, Undersheriff Ron Cranor said.

¢ For more information, call the department: (913) 682-5724 or (913) 724-1313.

"It seems like if you gain three, you'll always lose one," Cranor said. "You can't get ahead of the game I guess you can say. Just people always searching for a better job; they're not content."

When Sheriff Dave Zoellner took office 20 months ago, the department had 23 openings. Now, the department has about 12, Cranor said.

"Ever since they moved into this new building they've not been able to hire enough detention officers," Cranor said, referring to the Leavenworth County Justice Center, which opened in 2000. "It's more labor-intensive than the old jail."

To work in the jail, applicants must be 19, while deputies must be at least 21.

Sgt. Tom Johnson, who recruits and trains and evaluates background information and conducts internal investigations, said wages at the sheriff's office are competitive with other area law enforcement agencies.

He outlined other positives of working at the sheriff's office.

"The county's growing; that means we're going to grow," Johnson said. "Lots of opportunity to do jobs in law enforcement.

"To me, Leavenworth County is just a great place to live because of all our surrounding activities. I can work here, but I can still go down to the big city, but I just don't have to live there."

Although some officers have moved on to different jobs, Cranor said he considers a position with the sheriff's office to be a good job also, especially when people consider some of the benefits the office offers.

"The government is one of the few jobs left that has a pension after working most of your adult life," Cranor said, referring to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.

He said the office's health insurance and annual and sick leave benefits also should be attractive to prospective applicants.

"There are a lot of jobs that don't offer some of the benefits," Cranor said.

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