The Nueces County Sheriff's Office is looking for a few good corrections officers -- about 35 to be exact -- and they are needed now, Sheriff Jim Kaelin said.
The shortage means the county must pay current corrections officers overtime, which costs the county, and therefore taxpayers, more than paying the salary of a full-time corrections officer, Kaelin said. During a recent pay period, the county paid $50,000 in overtime to corrections officers at the Nueces County Jail. And these staffers must possess a special license to work in a jail, Kaelin said, so they cannot be taken from other departments in the county.
That overtime pay comes from the 35 budgeted salaries of the vacant corrections officers, which is $32,000 per year, Kaelin said. That money is in the county budget for the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. But in another eight months, those budgeted funds to pay the overtime will be low enough that the sheriff will have to go before Nueces County commissioners to ask for more money, he said.