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home : news : north central illinois   May 24, 2016

12/27/2012 11:58:00 AM
New corrections officers mean big savings at the jail


NewsTribune file photo/Anthony SouffléLa Salle County Jail corrections officer Michelle Miller watches over security matters in the jail’s master control room back. The La Salle County Jail has been able to expand its staff in order to address issues such as employees working 12- to 16-hour shifts, causing fatigue problems and massive overtime payments.
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NewsTribune file photo/Anthony Soufflé
La Salle County Jail corrections officer Michelle Miller watches over security matters in the jail’s master control room back. The La Salle County Jail has been able to expand its staff in order to address issues such as employees working 12- to 16-hour shifts, causing fatigue problems and massive overtime payments.
Kevin Caufield
NewsTribune Reporter



OTTAWA — New correctional officers inside La Salle County Jail is a welcome sight for many current employees.

“Overall, I believe the majority of the deputies are happy that they will have to work only 12 hours instead of 16 per day and will start getting their days off,” said jail superintendent Jason Edgcomb. “This should give the deputies the time off they need.”

Corrections deputies in the jail work 12-hour shifts plus overtime. Sometimes — due to the county’s contract with the corrections officers’ union — the county is obligated to cover all shifts using overtime if there are not enough employees. As a result, corrections deputies sometimes were required to stay on a shift longer than 12 hours and work well over 40 hours per week.

The practice not only caused correctional officers fatigue, but was costing taxpayers about $900,000 in overtime annually.

A study conducted by La Salle County sheriff Tom Templeton and Edgcomb showed eight more corrections deputies would adequately solve the fatigue and overtime cost issue.

County board members authorized six new hires, with the first beginning Dec. 10. A new person would start each day thereafter to establish seniority.

The deputies are required to complete a five-week corrections training in March, and currently are going through in-house training. All of them have taken a defensive tactics course.

The county board budgeted $175,000 for correctional officer overtime this year. Edcomb said he is hopeful that his overtime costs will come in below that.












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