Geneva County Sheriff’s Office and Engineering Office looking to hire

Both offices say they are struggling to hire and keep new employees.
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - A county wide issue, over the past few years the Geneva County Sheriffs’ Office along with the Geneva County Engineering Office face challenges hiring and keeping new employees. Both offices said they have seen a trend of a decrease in recruiting and applicants.

“I’m literally hiring correctional officers and we get them trained and they they are going to larger agencies where they can make three to four dollars more per hour,” Tony Helms, Geneva County Sheriff, said.

Sheriff Helms said it is becoming a nationwide problem with recruiting in law enforcement and corrections. He said it has been an extreme problem in the county, the biggest issue being the pay.

“That low pay is based on what is available from the general fund budget of Geneva County,” Sheriff Helms said.

Correctional Officers are started out at just under $10 an hour and deputy pay for certified officers is under $14.

“You can’t fault anybody for that, especially if they are young and they have a family, you know, they are going to need to go where they make the most money,” Sheriff Helms said.

Justin Barfield, Geneva County Engineer, said the County Engineering Office is struggling with the same issue. He said it could be the current state of the hiring environment.

”You go back to 20 years ago we had roughly 43 employees, now we’re down to around 28 so we have lost around 34 percent of our work force in the last two decades,” Barfield said.

Geneva County has 900 miles of roads and 170 bridge structures and as of right now less than 20 people out on the roads to maintain that infrastructure.

“Our more veteran employees, once they are retiring, we’re not having any success in bringing in newer employees and filling these positions so it’s caused a great hardship on us to do roadwork,” Barfield said.

The County Engineering Office has between four and eight positions they are looking to fill.

While the Geneva County Sheriff’s Office has one current opening as a Correctional Officer, plus others on the way as two employees working in the jail will be retiring.

To apply for the Geneva County Sheriff’s Office or the Geneva County Engineering office you can go to the Geneva County Commissions Office Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here if you are interested in applying.

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