CLEARFIELD – A new position will bolster leadership at the Clearfield County Jail.
Tuesday, the county’s Salary Board approved the creation of a lieutenant position at the jail with a salary of $42,000/year.
The “crucial” need for leadership on second shift has made this position necessary, said Warden David Gallagher.
In addition to oversight of that shift, the new lieutenant will be responsible for the scheduling and training of guards.
“I can’t express enough the need and it’s for the overall benefit of the facility – staffing and inmates,” Gallagher said.
“It’s …. crucial for our leadership out there at this point.”
The jail’s population was 189 as of Tuesday’s meeting but had been “hovering around” 200 inmates for some time.
Commissioner John Sobel cast the only nay vote, noting the jail has become awfully expensive.
He said it started with expansion of inmate medical services and possible expansion of inmate mental health services.
There have also been ongoing discussions with regards to implementing a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program.
“I think we could live without the position at least for now,” Sobel said, “…. and accommodate the taxpayer.”
Commissioner Dave Glass agreed but believed it wasn’t reasonable to have three people manage 200 inmates and 35 guards.
Sobel said while he completely understood Glass’ position, jail costs were the greatest factor to the county’s last tax increase.
“With our economic times and average median income around $25-$26,000, I think it’s just too much to ask of our taxpayers.”
Controller Rob Edwards pushed the blame off on state government and its unfunded mandates.
“They tell us to do this stuff and we have to figure out how to pay for it,” Edwards said.