New cadets helping Wake County Sheriff’s Office solve staffing issues

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After a CBS17 investigation revealed that local jails have been understaffed for years Wake County is one step closer to correcting the issue with their corrections department.

Though their paths to have been very different Keegan Clark and Monique Jackson are on the same road to the Wake County Jail.

“I knew I wanted to come home back to the Raleigh area,” said Keegan Clark. “I couldn’t see any better transition to keep serving citizens than going into law enforcement.”

“This is actually my 4th corrections center or jail per se,” said Monique Jackson. “I wanted to continue my career and Wake County was the best.”

While they have the same goals these future corrections officers are unknowingly correcting a decades-old issue.

“Staffing was down,” said Wake Co. Sheriff Gerald Baker. “That resulted in a whole lot of negative issues, and negative problems, like injuries and all kinds of things.”

Wake Co. Sheriff Gerald Baker says at one point his office had more than 100 openings, but he says that number is now down to around 30.

“We’re working very aggressively to get those numbers up,” said Sheriff Baker.

Sheriff Baker sites competition from nearby counties, and rigors of the job, as the biggest roadblocks in his fight to fill positions.

Now the Wake Co. Sheriff believes competitive starting salaries around $40,000 can be the great equalizer.

“It’s a great opportunity to serve this county as a detention officer, and I’m just looking forward to doing the best I can to enacting that change,” said Clark.

While the Wake Co. Sheriff’s office still has roughly 30 positions open Sheriff Baker says there is another group of 19 cadets preparing to graduate into full-time positions.

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