Jeffco Sheriff's office makes case for deputy-run jails

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – The Jefferson County Sheriff's office makes its case to keep deputies running their jails.

This week, Jefferson County commissioners came out in support of hiring civilian correctional officers instead of sheriff deputies to reopen the county jail in Bessemer.  

Chief Deputy Randy Christian says the county will not save much money in lower personnel costs and that it could actually end up costing the county more. "You are only talking about $180-thousand," says Christian. "That is minimal but when you look at the big big picture. The liability that correctional officers for security guards bring to the county, it exposes our tax dollars to lawsuits."

Sheriff Mike Hale has asked for a $17 million budget increase.

Christian says it will cost about seven and a half million dollars to hire 80 deputies to run the jail in Bessemer at full capacity.