TOLEDO, Ohio — Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp is spoke out this week regarding the need for corrections officers in the county's jail. The department has been down officers for a year.

Right now, the jail is short about 80 corrections officers and while that may sounds like a lot, it's actually an improvement from earlier this year.  

Back in February, the department was short 150 officers. Since then, they have conducted job fairs and hired a significant amount of replacements but they still aren't where they should be.

The ideal number of officers to have working in the jail is about 550 and right now they only have 470 working officers. 

The department has lowered the minimum age to be a corrections officer twice within the past year.  Now, the minimum age to be a corrections officer is 18.  

Tharp said many officers are working overtime because of these shortages and while they may not necessarily mind, he does not want them to burn out. 

"We are down, we think we're going to get there," Tharp said.

Tharp explained that being a corrections officer opens new opportunities in the department in the future.

"The opportunities are great, they also have the opportunity to go to school, to go through the peace officers academy and to really drill into their career ladder to be able to do better for themselves, so it's a great kickstart," he said.

The department said they plan to keep working to fill those gaps by holding job fairs and recruitment events. You can apply online right here

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