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O.C. Sheriff's Department begins recruiting efforts for jail workers

August 19, 2009 |  4:24 pm

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department opened up recruitment today for its first class of correctional services assistants, who will help staff the jails at a projected eventual cost savings of $10 million a year.

Because the assistants are non-sworn personnel and receive less training, they are also less expensive, said Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. She said they will eventually make up 35% of the positions in the jail system and will save $10 million annually once the program is fully implemented. Sworn positions will be reduced through attrition.

“Just this year we have been required to reduce our budget by $28 million, and next year we’re looking at a $60-million reduction,” the sheriff said in a statement. “Any savings we can obtain is of great benefit to Orange County taxpayers.”

Recruitment is initially open to department employees but will open to the public in the next few months.

The first class of 50 correctional services assistants will attend nine weeks of training — as opposed to the six months for deputies — and should begin working in the jails by January.

— Tami Abdollah, reporting from Orange County