Winston County in need of more deputies

WINSTON COUNTY, Miss.(WCBI) – The search is on in Winston County for more deputies.

In Winston County, the sheriff is looking for people to put criminals behind bars, and others to keep them there.

Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh said almost 20 years ago a lot of people wanted to work with law enforcement. It was a very popular career.

“Obviously people find better jobs. They leave us, they move on to better things and we are constantly on the lookout for people to help us at our correctional facility, you know, for a couple of reasons. It’s a very important job but it’s not the most glamorous job in the world, obviously, and it’s a very stressful job for the employees,” said Sheriff Pugh.

The sheriff said the economy plays into why that is. When the economy is bad, departments see a lot of people that are willing to get into the business.

Warden Neil Higgason at the Winston Choctaw Regional Correctional Facility said the search for new applicants is consistent.

“We are always looking for good correctional officers. The Mississippi Department of Corrections is having serious staffing issues right now. We could hire one or two. We have a position open but we are not in a crisis. Due to the nature of corrections, we are almost always looking to hire good hands,” said Higgason.

Another reason for the low number of applicants is the low pay grade.

“There is a high demand for our law enforcement now. It’s a very tough job on the correctional guard and we can run into a lot of trouble finding good help. I’m sure we can fill two to three positions easily today,” said Sheriff Pugh.

Sheriff Pugh said they will continue to look through applicants hoping to get some positions filled.

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