Klamath County losing experienced jail staff

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Several retirements next month has the Klamath County Sheriff looking to fill key positions – with jail staffing hit the hardest.

Sheriff Frank Skrah says three jail administrators, and one detective are retiring next month…

“That’s a total of 111 years of experience that’s retiring.”

That loss of experience is coming up quick.

“Unfortunately, it’s the 31st of October.”  Notes Sheriff Skrah.  “Which is prior to the new Sheriff coming in.”

Sheriff Skrah proposed a plan to the Klamath County Commissioners Wednesday morning to put deputies in trial positions to shadow the officers that are retiring.

Those employees will get a 5% raise, and their positions must also be filled.

“It’s going to create a financial impact on the Sheriff’s office.”  Pointed out Skrah.  “We think we can manage it, but we have to look at payouts.”

Skrah cautioned that inadequate training could come at an even higher cost…

“If we take a deputy, and say, ‘okay, fine – you’re now running the jail’ – where’s the liability factor there?  It’s huge.”

The commissioners asked for more details on the potential cost of the training, but in the meantime gave the Sheriff a green light to begin selecting deputies for consideration.

Sheriff Skrah is not seeking re-election to another term.

Steve Lewis and Chris Kaber will face off in November in the race for Klamath County Sheriff, with the winner taking office in January.

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