Deaf Smith County Sheriff’s Office experiencing deputy shortage

Local News

DEAF SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —”Right now there’s a shortage of officers panhandle-wide, filling vacancies,” said Deaf Smith County Sheriff J. Dale Butler.

It’s a problem that Sheriff Butler says has made its way to their neck of the woods.

“Right now we’re a couple of deputies short and been trying to get people through academies and some hired and such as that,” said Sheriff Butler.

Sheriff Butler says its already a tall task patrolling with a full staff, given the county’s size.

“We have 1,500 square miles, 1,000 miles of dirt road,” said Sheriff Butler.

So how is it affecting them?

“You get into budgetary concerns with overtime. You get into time off and stuff to give them a break from patrol and such as that. We need to have the spots filled to make sure the county is covered like it needs to,” said Sheriff Butler.

Sheriff Butler says that being located in a rural county is one of the many reasons why they’re experiencing a shortage.

“What we’re looking at is the pay scales. The having to move to the town away from bigger towns to take calls and there’s just a whole bunch of deals that come into play,” said Sheriff Butler.

Another issue Sheriff Butler and his office deal with is the length of time it takes to go through the necessary protocols to become a sheriff’s deputy.

“Well, you have to have a TCOLE license, which is the law enforcement licensing agency in Texas. You have to have that before you can go apply. So you’ve got to be in the academy for over six months then pass the TCOLE test then you get hired,” said Sheriff Butler.

Sheriff Butler also adds that if you have anything over a traffic ticket in your background check, you can not be a peace officer for 10 years.

If you’re interested in applying for a position, you can contact the Deaf Smith County Sheriff’s Office or the county treasurer.

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