01STOCK_ROCK_SHERIFF02

JANESVILLE

The Rock County Board is scheduled to vote Thursday on a minor re-organization of the sheriff’s office.

The plan creates a new path for advancement for correctional officers and saves a small amount of money.

The idea has been around for years, said jail Cmdr. Craig Strouse, and the opportunity to implement it arose when three sergeants retired at the end of 2018.

Correctional officers approached Sheriff Troy Knudson with the idea. He took it to his command staffers, and they liked it, Strouse said.

Under the plan, the money budgeted for the three retirees would be used to create four new correctional supervisor positions at the jail.

Until now, sergeants, who are sworn officers, supervised jailers. One jail supervisor, who is not a sworn officer and whose position was created in 2009, also served the jail.

Sometimes, sergeants had to be paid overtime so all shifts could be covered, Strouse said.

The only way the 81 correctional officers could advance was to take the test to become a deputy, but some jailers don’t want to work patrol, Strouse said.

If the board approves the new plan, the four new jail supervisor positions would open a new advancement path for jailers.

According to a memo in the board’s agenda packet, “The correctional officers have demonstrated a strong understanding of the daily jail operations and best correctional practices, making some of them highly skilled and capable of this career progression to a supervisor position.”

Meanwhile, the law-enforcement side of the sheriff’s office is unaffected and possibly strengthened because of less overtime spent at the jail, Strouse said.

Seven sergeants had always been assigned to the jail, Strouse said. Under the proposal, five sergeants would continue to supervise jail shifts, along with the supervisory position created in 2009 and the four new supervisors.

The new jail supervisors will be paid less than the three retiring sergeants were, saving the county $13,917.

Strouse said jailers and sworn deputies are enthusiastic about the proposal.

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