Jailer Shortage in Midland

by Jacqueline Sit
NewsWest 9

I spoke with Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter today and he says they need at least 17 jailers to get back into full force.

"You deal with different people everyday, there're different problems you have to solve.  You have to be a problem solver," Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said.

Dealing with different people and different challenges everyday, that's what keeps Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter on the force and it's a tough job.

"The environment is not for everyone because it's confined you spend more time in jail than the people who are sentenced or people who are waiting for trial so you're there everyday," Painter said.

Working everyday and sometimes over time to fill in the shifts and that could be exhausting after awhile.  The jail is shorthanded by 18 people to be exact and they need all the help they can get.

Now, there are more jobs than there are people.

The staff shortage affecting more than just businesses and restaurants is keeping everyone including the sheriff's office under a constant struggle to find help.  But in this field, Painter says it's training ground to get into law enforcement.

"It's better to get the smarts and the intelligence and the learning here before you get onto the street as a police officer because you have to be able to move fast," Painter said, "If you're going to wear a badge you're going to have to be a problem solver and you have to do it in very quick time."

Painter adds not only do you learn about the people who work the streets, you learn about those you work with in the force.

"If you want to work for a great guy, and have a good job, give me a call," Painter said.

If they want to come work for a great guy and have a wonderful job come see me, just because they're down 18 jailers doesn't mean they're out of state compliance.

But they are understaffed and they need all the help they can get, if you'd like information, call the sheriff's office at 688-4600.