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Upshur County Sheriff’s Department announces sign-on bonus to increase recruitment

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - The Upshur County Sheriff’s Department is offering an $8,000 sign-on bonus.

“It’s getting to be, basically I’d say it’s a crisis situation that we’re getting into,” said Upshur County Sheriff Virgil Miller.

The sheriff’s office has 10 personnel including three deputies at full staff , but right now, there is just one deputy in the county. Sheriff Miller says part of the problem is that the academy is backed up because of the coronavirus pandemic.

When officers go, they have to stay the entire ten weeks without going home. Sheriff Miller said, “It’s so hard now to get officers whether they’re new candidates, recruits coming in, our certified officers. It’s hard to get them and it’s hard to retain them.”

The sheriff says the issue isn’t exclusively in Upshur County. He said, “To give you an example, the city of Huntington -- I saw the flyer last week -- They’re offering a $20,000 sign on bonus for certified officers.”

Sheriff Miller says paying this bonus to help bring in new deputies will save the county in the long run. “Once we got to looking at what the cost was from the initial hire from the time they go to the academy and so forth, we’re looking at about $16,000-$17,000 total cost,” the sheriff continued.

He says the department is already seeing the benefits of offering the bonus. The Upshur County commission hopes more people will begin to apply for positions in law enforcement in order to serve their community. There are currently two open positions with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.

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