Deputies Needed in Ector County

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA/MIDLAND - With the recent spike of crashes in the area, there has been an outcry for the need to hire more officers, but it's not as simple as you may think.

During budget hearings this week, Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson asked to add at least eight new deputies to his staff. However, only four were approved because the county can't afford to hire that many. Donaldson says it's tough to keep the personnel needed onboard.

"We have the positions, but the question is whether I am going to be able to hire them based on the pay, commissioners tentatively voted a cost of living adjustment which is by four percent for all county employees," Donaldson said.

Donaldson says unlike other agencies that lure new employees by offering incentives, that is something Ector County does not plan on doing.

"We don't give sign on bonuses, like some major companies are having to do to get them to come out to work. The county is not into that, it's not something that I can't do on my own, it has to come through the county," Donaldson said.

Donaldson says it hard to compete with local companies that are willing to pay the big bucks.

"When somebody says I'll pay you $20,000 more a year than what you are making now or more than that, they kinda look at it that way. You can't blame them but it makes it tough on us," Donaldson said.

Not all Sheriffs Departments are having a shortage issue, Chief Deputy Ed Krevit with the Midland County Sheriff Department, thanks a program for their success in recruiting the personnel needed.

"An alliance that we have formed with the United States Army, the Army Pays Program," Krevit said.

Krevit did say that they too have faced a shortage of deputies when the boom began.

"We have in the past. We sure have, when this current boom that we are in first started a couple of years ago, we were down as many as 30 detention officers," Krevit said.

Donaldson hopes he gets the deputies that he needs soon because there is a lot of work to be done.

"It's a lot of work. You come to work here, you're going to work, you are going to be out there taking calls and writing reports all the time. So if you really want to work hard and be busy all the time, this is the place to come," Donaldson said.