ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — The Ector County Commissioners Court met this morning to discuss the need for more jailers at the county prison.

 According to Mike Griffis, Ector County Sheriff, there are many employees who work 14-17 days straight.

 “Thankfully a lot of them are young, but they’re going to get burnout,” Griffis said.

Sheriff Griffis says they have 30 positions open at the jail, and with the upcoming expansion, they will have an additional 30 positions that need to be filled.

“Right now, when so many companies are shorthanded and everybody’s trying to hire there’s just a lot of opportunity out there, which is great if you’re an employee, you’ve got a lot of options and opportunity. But we still got to provide those services to the public and obviously have to maintain standard employment at the jail,” said Greg Simmons, Commissioner for Precinct 2.

The commissioners and Sheriff Griffis are proposing a sign-on bonus for jailers. Simmons went on to suggest a sign-on bonus of $5,000 to incentivize people to apply.

“You know obviously the oil field is very difficult to compete against when you’re a public entity, but we try to make it as appealing as possible. Last year we gave a 16% pay increase across the board to sheriff deputies and jailers,” Simmons said.

Whether or not a $5,000 sign-on bonus is enough is still up in the air.

“I hope it’s enough incentive for people to come and work for us, like I said I don’t know all the right answers,” Griffis said.

Tuesday’s meeting brought up the multi-faceted problem of needing more people at the Ector County Jail. Sheriff Griffis and the commissioners will not come up with a finalized plan for the signing bonus until the next meeting, set for July 23rd at 10 a.m.