Polk sheriff’s office has 78 percent employee turnover

Published 4:55 pm Thursday, May 22, 2008

Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson told county commissioners that the sheriff&squo;s office has had a 78 percent employee turnover rate since Dec., 2006.

That concern was one of several rasied by county officials Monday during heated discussions between the board of commissioners and Sheriff Chris Abril, mainly over the sheriff&squo;s aged fleet of vehicles.

According to the Polk County Finance Office, the employee turnover rate for the sheriff&squo;s office from Dec. 6, 2006 through current has been 78 percent, not including the initial turnover due to the election.

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Some of the officers who served under former Sheriff David Satterfield resigned before Abril took office. In the first year after Abril became sheriff, about 20 employees quit or were fired, according to the county.

Sheriff Abril has said in the past that he has problems getting trained officers in Polk County and many officers leave Polk County for higher pay in other areas.

That concern was addressed earlier this year when commissioners decided to raise the starting pay for deputies, animal control officers and sergeants.

Another concern expressed by commissioners is that the department currently has three officers who are not Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) certified.

Abril said only two officers are currently not certified and they are in school. Law enforcement agencies can hire uncertified officers and those officers have one year to become certified.