Commissioners approve more than $250k for more detention officer - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Commissioners approve more than $250k for more detention officers

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – New Hanover County Commissioners unanimously approved a request by Sheriff Ed McMahon to add more staff to the county jail.

McMahon said the money would cover the cost of 8 new deputies to work in the housing units.

As of now, there is one deputy for about 64 inmates. As the number of inmates continue to rise, the sheriff's office is left shuffling deputies to keep the calm. But now, the safety of the inmates and staff is on the line.

McM said it will cut down on jail crime, improve officer morale, and reduce overtime pay. In this year alone, the number of jailhouse suicide attempts has doubled since last year. The jail has also seen an increase in inmate on inmate assaults and inmate on officers assaults.

McMahon said he's cut any and everywhere for the county, but not it's gotten to the point where they cannot run their facilities without putting someone in harm's way.

The sheriff added that 16 officers is the desired number, but he will make it worth with half that much until it's time to consider next year's budget.

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.

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