OTTAWA — New correctional officers inside La Salle County Jail is a welcome sight for many current employees.
“Overall, I believe the majority of the deputies are happy that they will have to work only 12 hours instead of 16 per day and will start getting their days off,” said jail superintendent Jason Edgcomb. “This should give the deputies the time off they need.”
Corrections deputies in the jail work 12-hour shifts plus overtime. Sometimes — due to the county’s contract with the corrections officers’ union — the county is obligated to cover all shifts using overtime if there are not enough employees. As a result, corrections deputies sometimes were required to stay on a shift longer than 12 hours and work well over 40 hours per week.
The practice not only caused correctional officers fatigue, but was costing taxpayers about $900,000 in overtime annually. A study conducted by La Salle County sheriff Tom Templeton and Edgcomb showed eight more corrections deputies would adequately solve the fatigue and overtime cost issue.