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A 'Critical Shortage' Of Staff At Washtenaw County Jail

Jerry Clayton
Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department is experiencing a severe staff shortage, particularly in its jail operations.  Despite some media reports this  week, there has not been a "State of Emergency" declaration.  Sheriff Jerry Clayton joined WEMU's David Fair to clarify the situation, as it stands today, and to discuss ongoing efforts to address staffing needs. 

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office is dealing with "critical staffing levels" that presenting a number of challenges.  Sheriff Clayton says much of the issue comes from natural attrition through retirements and resignations.  Clayton says the typical rate of vacancy for most law enforcement departments is between eight and 10%.  Right now, his office is operating at 23% vacancy.  The sheriff says a strategic development plan is in place and efforts continue to hire more qualified staff.  He believes the department can get down to 13-15% vacancy by the end of the year. 
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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at

Nearly three-quarters of David Fair’s 20+ years in radio has been at WEMU. Since 1994, he has been on the air at 5am each weekday on 89.1 FM as the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Fair has had the opportunity to interview nationally and internationally known politicians, activists and celebrities. But he feels the most important features and interviews have been with those who live and work here at home. He believes his professional passions and desires fit perfectly into WEMU’s commitment to serving a local audience.
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