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Kewaunee County juggling building, hiring questions with new jail

If you have one, you must have the others regarding the future Kewaunee County Jail facility. The Kewaunee County Board formally approved the jail in July, and there have been non-stop meetings ever since with local officials, Venture Architects, and Samuels Group to ensure all of the necessities are included at the price tag that is wanted. Running parallel to that path are the county’s efforts to fill the five additional positions needed to staff the future facility. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is no different than a local business regarding hiring as they try to balance the incoming candidates with the outgoing retirements and resignations. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is confident they will get qualified people to fill the spots in due time.

The $25.6 million project will house 52 beds when it is finished, more than double what the current jail can support.

 

MORE FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

First and foremost, I would like to take a moment to thank all of our Kewaunee County Veterans as we celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11th. Whether you served active or Reserve, Peacetime or in Conflict, the common thread that binds us together is that at some point in our lives, we held up our right hand and swore to serve our country. That oath was all inclusive and superseded every other aspect of our lives knowing the sacrifice that may be asked of us. For so many that oath and commitment lasts well beyond our formal service defining our very existence. To all who have served, as well as those currently serving; Thank you!

        

Now I would like to provide an update on the Jail Facility Project. Since the authorization was given to move forward with this project, we have been in a constant state of meetings. We are very fortunate to have a great team of architects and consultants from Venture Architects guiding us through the many decisions as well as our Jail Inspector remaining by our side making sure all aspects of state requirements and mandates are incorporated into each decision. We also have a great resource in Samuels Group, who serves the role of project cost estimator. This resource is vital in keeping a high level of vigilance to our budget so as to arrive at a quality structure within our financial parameters. I want to thank all of those who have and continue to dedicate their valuable to time in attending the many meetings involved in this project.

      

As these meetings continue and we slowing and methodically move through the planning phase of the building project, there is another aspect that will be just as daunting and require just as much effort and dedication; Staffing. As many will recall, we will be required to add five new staff to operate the new facility. This number was arrived at after many years of discussion, study and compromise, and is truly the bare minimum. Adding five staff in and of itself will be a challenge in our current hiring environment, but to add to this challenge, while we are attempting to add these five over the next three years, we will losing that same number through retirements. In addition, we know that we may lose some staff to other opportunities. While the hiring environment remains challenging, we are fortunate to get quality applicants when these positions are posted, and our current hiring process has resulted in some great candidates that will be continuing on through our background process. I am optimistic that as the need for candidates arises, so too will the presence of qualified applicants. Every time we conduct interviews, I am reminded that even in this challenging recruitment era for law enforcement, there will always be men and women willing to follow their calling in the service of their community.

       

We look forward to the challenge before us, and the many ways in which we will strive for both the facility and the staff necessary to serve the needs of our community.

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