The Williamson County Sheriff's Office is in need of dozens of deputies and jailers. With a tough political climate and the competition of higher-paying departments, they are getting creative when it comes to recruitment.
The newest cadets of the Williamson County Sheriff's Office practiced defense training Friday morning.
As they move closer to becoming full-fledged deputies, recruiting officers scramble to find 20 more to fill their shoes.
The jail is short 23 employees.
"I think that pretty much everyone is having to be creative now," said Williamson County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Kellie Bomer.
Sgt. Kellie Bomer says the days of hiring by word of mouth are gone.
"Out there on the street working you run into other officers, other agencies and we have good working relationships. You come across them and you try and recruit from other agencies really," said Bomer.
Those seeking law enforcement positions are becoming more difficult to find. Bomer says part of that is pay, as people are choosing the private sector over law enforcement, and another is the current political climate.
"Because they think there's going to be riots and much more conflict than we would've before this last year. It's been about two years. That the climate has changed quite a bit," said Bomer.
The problem isn't just affecting the sheriff's office.
"There's pretty much a shortage across the board in public safety, fire, EMS, law enforcement, corrections. We also have all the baby boomer generation going out. The generation now there's just not many in the workforce so we have to compete," said Bomer.
But instead of competing against one another, departments are joining forces.
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office will host a career fair next Saturday in Hutto. Local agencies will be there along with out-of-towners including Houston PD, Dallas Fire and even Memphis PD.
Bomer would prefer applicants choose Williamson County.
"I know all the patrol officers. I know all the sergeants. I know all the lieutenants, so we all know each other. We all have that family environment instead of being another face or another number to the administration," said Bomer. "You have to have a passion for it. The benefits, they're there, but you're not going to get the satisfaction in a private industry that you're going to get here. So, if you're thinking about it, come out, talk to us. We might be able to help you decide."
For more information on the career fair you can go here.
If you'd like to learn more about Williamson County Sheriff's Office's recruitment you can head to its Facebook page here.