Bexar County Commissioners have approved emergency funding to temporarily pay overtime to Bexar County detention officers, but the sheriff has a plan to save the county a quarter-million dollars.
Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said the county can save $250,000 by allowing her and the county manager to conduct an in-house staffing study instead of paying a third party.
Pamerleau said staffing issues at the jail are the most critical problem in her office, where she says 50 positions remain vacant.
"Two years ago, a mandatory overtime program was put into effect to ensure there were enough people on the floor, on shifts to run the jail," she said.
Pamerleau said detention officers have stepped up and worked overtime hours but they have grown weary and many have resigned. She asked commissioners for an infusion of $500,000 to get through Feb. 26, and she detailed temporary measures she has employed to have an immediate impact on the overtime hours.
"We’ve returned uniformed supervisory staff to regular shift operations, including a captain and members of the Specialized Emergency Response Team, the SERT Team. We’re increasing the number of part-time employees from five to 30 and are aggressively recruiting for these part-time positions," she said.
Pamerleau said 25 new detention officers will graduate this week, and another class will be ready in nine weeks. Pamerleau said she will return to commissioners with an interim update on Feb. 13 and a final report on Feb. 26.