Sheriff’s Office struggling to attract applicants

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:25 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office began its first steps to hire new deputies into the department around the beginning of March. However, they’ve had difficulties attracting applicants.

They currently have 103 deputies, but Sgt. Joshua Lester said this is below what they want.

“We have about five openings and we anticipate that number to go up because usually in the spring to summertime, we start dealing with retirements,” he said.

In 2015, the Sheriff’s Office had 196 applicants for their open deputy positions.

The number has decreased almost every year since, with only 16 applicants this year.

“Only 13 of those 16 applicants did pass the physical/agility test,” Lester said. “That means only 13 of those applicants got to go forward with the written test.”

Lester said not everyone will pass the written test, adding that about half of all applicants won’t pass their background check, leaving just a handful of potential hires.

“We’re seeing that we’re having to test at least every six months just to fill those applicant spots.”

Lester said they’re looking at what other agencies are doing to try and attract more people to their department.