CINCINNATI — Do you have what it takes to be a corrections officer?
Corrections officers play an important role in keeping our jails and communities safe, but It’s a difficult job.
Across the country, cities are reporting shortages, including Cincinnati.
Hamilton County has more than a dozen openings right now with a starting salary around $34,000.
Clermont County doesn’t have any openings at the moment, maybe because the pay there is better and administrators are always looking for someone to fill the next opening.
“We’re always outnumbered. There’s always more inmates than corrections officers,” said administrator Joe Palmer.
Check any online job listing and you’ll find dozens for corrections officers in the Tri-State and beyond. But you’ll rarely find any openings at the Clermont County jail, where Palmer says he always keeps a list of qualified candidates in the pipeline.
"Safety," Palmer said. "If I don’t have someone immediately ready to fill the position, that places the other officers in jeopardy.
Recruiting and retaining corrections officers is a challenge, says David Daugherty, public information officer for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
They are currently trying to fill 13 openings.
“Their decision making is questioned quite a bit. They’re scrutinized externally and internally, everything they do. It’s just not an easy job in today society," Daugherty said.
“Starting salary for a corrections officer in Hamilton County is around is $33,371. After five years, you can make close to $50,000 ($49,919)."
Compare that to more than $40,000 ($40,664) to start out in Clermont County, where you could make over $55,000 ($55,265) after five years.
While many prison guards go on to become deputies and police officers, Palmer says it’s a great place for a young professional to start.
"I have some fine officers 19 and 20 years old here. Maturity is outstanding," he said.