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Fayette jail staff shortages becoming ‘very concerning,’ Council told


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Approved for 278 workers detention center is more than 100 short of that

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Finding workers at the Fayette County Detention Center always has been a problem. In fact, it’s a problem at many jails nationwide.

But in recent months, the shortages have become ‘very concerning,’ jail administrators and city leaders said this week.

A bonus plan being approved by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Council will help with higher pay. And the issue is one of the critical elements of a new contract being negotiated between the city and corrections officers.

But like many other first responder positions, finding workers is getting increasingly difficult.

“There’s no guarantee anything will help right now just like we’re facing in other divisions. The detention center is a very, very difficult job. We have great employees out there, they do a great job for us every day, they are stressed, they are overworked,” Public Safety Commissioner Ken Armstrong told the Urban County Council.

“I don’t care how much you pay them, pay them $100,000, and I don’t think they’ll come to work, that’s just my personal opinion. I’ll tell you, that is a tough job,” added Council member Richard Moloney, referring to the difficulties in attracting and keeping corrections staff.

The Urban Council was told Tuesday the jail is approved for 278 staff but is more than 100 people short of that. It has prompted discussions about changing procedures to insure safety.

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