MIAMI COUNTY — In 2019, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office plans to re-open the fourth pod at the county’s Incarceration Facility and help to set up security checkpoints at the courts, requiring the department to ramp up its hiring efforts.
Miami County is one of the few counties in the region without security checkpoints in its government buildings, something the county is planning to change this year at the Safety Building and Courthouse, Sheriff Dave Duchak said. A committee was formed last year to consider the county’s security needs and some funding for the improvements was included in the county’s budget for 2019, he added.
The courts have applied for grants to purchase X-ray machines, monitors, security cameras and other equipment, he said.
“The plans are, when those checkpoints go into operation, the public will have to enter from the plaza side,” Duchak said.
Duchak said he anticipates that the infrastructure will be in place by June. Because new deputies undergo four months of training, veteran deputies will take the security checkpoint positions, Duchak said.
“If all goes well, by summer we’ll start having these manned, but we won’t be done with the training and the hiring,” he said.
The sheriff’s office also plans to reopen the fourth pod of the incarceration facility, which will largely be rented out to other agencies. Eight more corrections officers will be needed to staff the fourth pod and the security checkpoints will also require the sheriff’s office to hire five new deputies.
Duchak said Miami County Sheriff’s Office Captain Dave Norman will be putting his skills as a former U. S. Marine Corps recruiter to work in hiring new deputies and corrections officers.
“It’s a tight labor market,” Duchak said. “He’s got his work cut out for him.”
Norman said he attends a lot of job fairs and works with vocational schools to look for men and women who are interested in a public service career.
“It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get into being a corrections officer or deputy,” he said.
Norman said he looks for applicants with a good background, no criminal history and integrity. Applicants will undergo a physical assessment to make sure they can handle the physical aspects of the job, as well as a thorough background investigation.
Those interested in applying for a deputy position must complete academy training. Norman added that the sheriff’s office will pay to put interested corrections officers through law enforcement academy training.
“Corrections is a great way to build your career if you want to get into law enforcement down the road,” he said. “I can give you a personal example on this. When I first came to the sheriff’s office and started working, I went and worked at the Incarceration Facility on 25-A. I spent about three years there and then went through the police academy and got on the road as a deputy.”
Employment details including pay, benefits and requirements, as well as applications and information about the testing process is available online at www.miamicountysheriff.org.