In an effort to combat high job vacancy rates, on Friday, April 12, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department announced that it will hold a Law Enforcement Career and Interest Fair later this month.  The department has been making it known lately that it’s looking for many more than a few good men and women – and it is now taking this additional step of holding an event specifically geared toward drumming up interest among citizens in careers in the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department.

Recently, the department announced that it was attempting to fill a large number of vacancies and that it would use a presence at the 2019 Spring Job Fair at the Greensboro Coliseum on Wednesday, April 17 to combat this problem, but this new event deals specifically with law enforcement opportunities in the Sheriff’s Department.

The Law Enforcement Career and Interest Fair will be held on Thursday, April 25 at the BB&T building at 201 W. Market St. in downtown Greensboro.  It will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  According to the announcement from the Sheriff’s Department, the event is geared toward “All interested in learning more about the opportunities available,” including both new applicants and applicants who are already in the process of applying for jobs there.  There will be computers and forms available at the job fair for people who wish to fill out applications.

According to numbers earlier this month from the Guilford County Human Resources Department last week, there were 78 vacant positions in the Sheriff’s Department.  That was an increase over the end of March when there were 74 vacancies with a breakdown of 22 vacant deputy sheriff’s positions, 45 detention officer positions and 7 administrative slots.

On Nov. 1, 2018, just before Rogers was elected, there were 34 vacancies in the department:  9 deputy positions, 22 in detention and 3 other vacancies.  So the number of vacancies has more than doubled since the week before the election.

One of the main areas of concern is the current high vacancy rate of detention officers.  Sheriff’s Department officials point out that the department has always struggled to fill those positions.  That’s true, but the problem has increased since new Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers took office at the beginning of December.  Just prior to taking office, Rogers fired about a dozen people working in detention, in addition to firing patrol officers and administrative staff. Since then, others have been fired and others have left.

Recently, an email from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department to the Rhino Times stated that, “In addition to lower wages, Guilford County also no longer offers many of the incentives they did in the past (i.e. Longevity pay, Medical benefits upon retirement, savings bonds through payroll deduction, etc.).”

Some county officials have pointed out in the wake of that statement that preliminary results from a new county salary study don’t seem to indicate that the employees in the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department are paid less than those working in surrounding law enforcement agencies, that some people are leaving the department for lower paying jobs rather than higher paying ones, and that Guilford County eliminated the benefits being pointed to by the Sheriff’s Department nearly a decade ago – so the elimination of those benefits isn’t contributing to the current spike in vacancies.