MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Twenty new Shelby County Sheriff’s Office recruits graduated from the academy Thursday night at Faith Baptist Church.
Sheriff Floyd Bonner says these are much needed new deputies considering in less than a year they'll have a much bigger area to patrol.
However, Bonner says the recruiting efforts have been less than ideal.
“Well, not as well as we had hoped, but we do have 20 more,” said Bonner.
Bonner says even after this recruitment class, his office will be 77 deputies short.
The shortage comes as the agency is preparing for residents in South Cordova, Windyke and Southwind to come back to the county in 2021.
That calls for more deputies and Bonner says it's hard to keep up due to disciplinary actions against officers and retirement.
He says just last month six deputies retired.
In February, the Shelby County commission lifted the residency requirements for public safety officials for a two year period.
The ordinance impacts sheriff’s deputies, jailers, corrections officers, firefighters and paramedics until 2022. Those living outside the county will make $2,500 less than those living inside the county.
“Hopefully it will encourage some people to apply,” said Bonner.
However Bonner is realistic. He's adjusted the number of deputies he plans to hire from the 51new deputies he told commissioners to budget for in January to now just 38.
“We kind of re-evaluated and plus we can’t hire that many, so there’s no reason for me to ask commissioners to hire 51 officers and we know we can’t get 51, ”said Bonner.
Bonner does say he's excited for these new deputies and it’s a step in the right direction.
An SCSO spokesperson says the second training class of the year is currently underway with 30 new recruits.
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