• donhollingsheadfor

"Civilian Workers Make up the Backbone of any Law Enforcement Organization"


This is a question from a person's blog page and my answer. I've copied the question exactly as it was posted.


Question: Question that many civilian law enforcement personnel would be interested in knowing the answer to.


Brian Kozak mentioned in a recent reply to a question that “civilians are usually the people behind the scenes that make the agency look good”. This is a very true statement. They are the unsung heros of any agency and most don’t have a true understanding of what they really do. Without civilians and the work they do, most agencies would come to a grinding halt. They’re also the people that are severely underpaid, overworked and under appreciated and often the last to benefit from a training budget along with often feeling as if they’re treated as second class citizens next to their sworn counterparts. There has been turnover in civilian staff in two local agencies recently, with one losing staffing in an entire division largely due to low pay and lack of lack of administrative support. This is detrimental to an agency and the community it serves. If elected Sheriff, how do you plan on using civilian employees and if so, what are your plans to recruit, retain and support them?


Answer: It is accurate to say that the civilian staff make up the backbone of any law enforcement organization, and it indeed would come to a grinding halt without these essential personnel. Since taking over as the Jail Captain, I have changed the old mindset that sworn staff were somehow superior to their civilian counterparts.


Civilian supervisors are sent to leadership and supervisory training which was not offered as often in the past. Civilian staff in the detention division know that they have a voice and that I have and will continue to work with the commissioners and the Human Resources Director to review pay scales in an effort ensure all of the staff are fairly compensated.


We also allow for upward movement within the agency so that if the desire is there, they can advance. Someone who started out in an entry level position such as an inmate visitation clerk can interview for a position in another section when there is an opening.


This very scenario took place this past week when the visitation clerk successfully interviewed for a position as a records clerk. The person who had held the records position interviewed for another position which paid more in another area.


I take a personal interest in all of the staff I work with and strive to make their professional and personal lives better.

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