Commissioners Approve On-Call Pay, Referral Incentive
MINOT – The Ward County Commissioners voted Tuesday to allow the detention center to provide on-call pay for correctional officers in discussion of a staffing shortage.
Major Paul Olthoff, commander of the Ward County Jail, told commissioners there are currently 166 inmates in jail.
“I’ve been having real problems trying to cover shifts,” said Olthoff. “A couple of months ago we put out a flier for 20 shifts and only one of them was filled. We’ve been down six people for maybe six to eight months.”
Olthoff also asked for a referral incentive for officers who bring an employee in by referral.
“If the person they referred makes it six months, then they’d get a referral bonus of $500,” said Olthoff.
The referral incentive has never been done before, says Olthoff. He added that the staffing shortage is especially tight on nights and weekends.
“It’s very taxing,” said Olthoff. “The morale of the employees that are having to do double the work is tough.”
Olthoff said the money is already in the budget, and it would only be used if necessary.
The County Commissioners voted unanimously for both the on-call pay and the referral incentive.