Abril comments on sheriff’s office 95 pct. turnover rate

Published 4:55 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Abril says he will not comment at any point on the employees who are no longer with his office as of last week, because it remains a personnel issue.

Maj. Donald Hill, Lt. Robert Kempster, Lt. Brent Jackson and Dep. Jeremy Gregg were no longer employed with the sheriff&squo;s office as of last Tuesday. Responding to the news last week, Abril said the firing of those officers will not make the sheriff&squo;s office less effective.

&dquo;It hurts me more to dismiss somebody I know for a while,&dquo; Abril told news crews last week, &dquo;but we have to correct the problems. I can&squo;t allow for officers to come over here and do what they feel like doing and not doing what they are supposed to do.&dquo;

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Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson said last week that the 95 percent turnover rate in the sheriff&squo;s office was high and something he&squo;s never seen before.

Abril also said in his press release that he appreciates the service each of the four officers gave to the citizens of Polk County and wishes them the best in their future endeavors. He said the release will be the only comment he makes on the subject.&bsp;Editor&39;s note: The following is the text of a press release issued last week by Polk County Sheriff Chris Abril.

As many of you are aware, it has been advertised that our turnover rate is now at an alleged &dquo;95%.&dquo; As I have stated before, many of these employees have left our agency to pursue better paying opportunities. I cannot condemn them for this, and I appreciate our County Commissioners raising salaries here in an attempt to bolster recruitment and retention efforts.

Also, unfortunately, often some employees simply do not work out or are terminated for other issues. I cannot allow taxpayer money to be used on employees who are not abiding by the rules or simply don&squo;t work out.

I will state again for the record that earlier this week four employees of the Polk County Sheriff&squo;s Office are no longer with this agency. I will not at any point comment on the circumstances surrounding their leave of employment and state again that it remains a personnel issue.

I do also wish to state for the record that I appreciate the services that each of these four gave to the citizens of Polk County, and wish them the best in their future endeavors. This will be the only comments released on this issue.

‐ Polk sheriff Chris Abri