SNOW HILL– A move to convert part-time positions to full-time is expected to help staffing at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.
On Tuesday, the Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a request from Sheriff Matt Crisafulli to convert nine part-time positions to full-time. Crisafulli said the change would allow him to fill the positions, which have been vacant for some time.
“We’re just simply not getting part-time applications,” he said.
Crisafulli said his team had evaluated staffing and had determined that part-time positions within the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office were not getting interest. Typically, those positions are filled with retirees from other law enforcement agencies. Crisafulli said that with nine part-time vacancies, he felt it was necessary to convert the positions to full-time so that they could be filled.
“I can guarantee that if you grant us this we will be able to fill the nine positions,” he said.
The change is expected to cost slightly more than $387,000. When asked if the officers in those positions would have full-time duties, Crisafulli said they would.
“Whatever division we put them in, they’d become a full-time worker…,” he said. “There’s always going to be work they can do.”
He said he was eager to get the positions filled because the situation was fluid.
“Somebody could retire tomorrow,” he said. “God forbid somebody could become injured today. And if that’s a part-time deputy and they retire or they leave service, then we now have that part-time opening. I’m trying to strategically work to convert all the part-time positions for our recruitment and our retention. It’s becoming a national issue with law enforcement.”
The conversion of the nine positions would give Crisafulli’s office, which currently has 88 sworn officers, more flexibility, he said, and would help as training requirements for law enforcement officers increased. He said that while a full-time position was meant to equate to 2,080 hours, by the time you factored in training, vacation and the like the department was really only getting 1,660 hours from an of an officer. Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said the amount of time officers would be busy with training was disturbing.
“That’s 10-and-a-half weeks we don’t have them,” he said.
When asked if the conversion of the part-time positions would lead to a reduction in overtime spending, Crisafulli indicated it would help.
“It’s going to be a step in the right direction,” he said.
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the conversion.