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Tehama County Sheriff's Department struggling to fill positions

The undersheriff and county leaders point to the rising cost of pensions as the reason why it's hard to get employees to come to the department.

Posted: Jun 11, 2019 7:01 PM
Updated: Jun 11, 2019 7:01 PM

Speech to Text for Tehama County Sheriff's Department struggling to fill positions

Below is the closed-captioning text associated with this video. Since this uses automated speech to text spelling and grammar may not be accurate.

a staffing shortage at the tehama county sheriff's office doesn't mean there's a shortage of crime. and that's exactly what the sheriff says he's dealing with now. action news now reporter hayley watts is live in red bluff to break down what's making it so difficult to fill vacant positions - and what it means for people who live there. right now if you called the sheriff's office to an emergency in red bluff -- they'd comeãbut it's really hard to say how long it would be until you saw actually saw a deputy. "through here we're coming to various disturbance, domestic, juvenile calls, narcotic sales form this trailer park as well" deputy zachary backus has a lot on his plate. "we take calls from bowman at 36 to all the way down in capay near the county line" that's 3600 square miles across tehama county standup: if one of two overnight deputies is patrolling the red bluff area and a call comes out on the other side of the county it could take about 30 minutes for them to respond. people who live in problem areas of tehama county say they can tell that the sheriff's department is understaffed.in fact 20% of the patrol deputy position are vacant. there are 16 total empty spots in the department. "it's running them thinãi understand they can't be where they need to be when there is something serious going on& you wish and hope for them to be there quicker but they can't be" they're paid 13% below the state average. between that and a shrinking pension plan, the undersheriff says a few employees have left. and they're not getting new candidates. "we have lost our competitive edge. the county needs to recognize that our employees are valuable" as for public safety? "it's going to become an issueãwe think we have a handle on it but it's like controlled chaos, you have that one person that can leave and it's a tough thing for us to fill" the county says employees have to step up to offset rising pension costs "at this point it's going to have to be current employees that cover that cost and make sure that the program is well funded so when they retire the funds will be available for their retirement", said county cao bill goodwin. "our association years ago offered to pay up 9% to cover that increase and we were told that we would be recognized for that in the future and that hasn't come to pass yet" backus said. that wasn't enough to cover calpers costs the county cao says more cuts are on the way. "we're losing people to other agencies & a further cut to our benefits in really going to affect moral and the ability to hire people right now" coming up at sixãwe'll break down the county's long-term plan to help cover rising pension costs and help with staffing. live in red bluff hayley watts action news now.# the paradise irrigation district is still working to restore clean water to the ridge 7 months after the camp fire. action news now reporter christina vitale rode along with water officials to give us a
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