KCDOA position on KCSO’s proposed move to replace certain ‘no physical inmate contact’ Detentions Deputy posts (i.e. control rooms) with non-sworn/civilian Sheriff’s Aides.
On January 23, 2017, during a previously scheduled contract negotiation meeting being held between KCDOA and the County of Kern, County HR staff initiated a discussion about a proposed Sheriff’s Office plan to replace certain specified Detentions Deputy work sites/posts with non-sworn civilian Sheriff’s Aides.
In a May 18, 1993 board letter from the Sheriff’s Office to the then Board of Supervisors, Chief David Haynes justified moving away from Sheriff’s Aides and stated following:
“…Justification for an all detentions officer custodial staff in the jails is to provide: cost effectiveness; a professional staff that has been appropriately recruited, psychologically and medically screened, tested, and trained to handle prisoners; and flexibility – utilization of staff in any assignment to insure fixed posts are manned and unnecessary overtime/extra help expenses are reduced. The detentions officer meets each category; whereas, the sheriff’s aide is no longer cost effective, has not been properly recruited, tested, or trained to handle prisoners, and can only be utilized in assignments that do not have direct prisoner contact.
The Lerdo management personnel report that 20 to 25 percent of the replacement overtime costs to man fixed posts at the Pretrial jail facility can be avoided with an all detentions officer staff. This fiscal year we have avoided approximately $150,000 in overtime expenses at the Maximum-Medium and Minimum jails with the ability to move detentions officers between the facilities to cover employee absences.”
In a local televised news report which aired on November 16, 2016, Chief Castaneda stated:
“The caliber of inmate we have now is a much more hardened inmate– they’re more sophisticated, they’re more violent. We have more inmate fights, much more inmate on officer assaults.”
It is for these reasons that KCDOA contends that jail control rooms should continue to be staffed by a professional staff that has been
appropriately recruited, psychologically and medically screened, tested, and trained to handle prisoners. As a result, KCDOA remains adamantly opposed to the Sheriff’s Office proposal, and why KCDOA has declared impasse on the issue, refusing to accept any financially motivated proposal which sacrifices the safety of our members.
Additionally, KCDOA recently learned that the department was using KCDOA Detentions Training Officers (DTOs) to train Sheriff’s Aides in violation of the County/KCDOA MOU. As a result, KCDOA noticed the department to cease doing so immediately.