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Kenosha Co. Sheriff's Department staff preps for shift changes, shortages amid COVID-19 -- just in case

NOW: Kenosha Co. Sheriff’s Department staff preps for shift changes, shortages amid COVID-19 -- just in case

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KENOSHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is now taking steps to make sure they are staffed in case several of their deputies are impacted by coronavirus.  

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said Wednesday, April 8, all of their shifts are staffed, but they are preparing for a shortage just in case, and a county board meeting Wednesday night may help them get more deputies hired.

The Kenosha County Board of Supervisors is considering extending the state of emergency that was declared for the county back in March for COVID-19. If approved, it would allow the sheriff’s department to have more flexibility in hiring new deputies.

Right now, Sheriff Beth says none of their employees have tested positive for coronavirus, however about a dozen of them are quarantined. If the resolution is passed, it will allow the department to pick from a larger number of top candidates instead of just the top three, which is how it works now.

Sheriff Beth says this will make it easier for the department to hire an officer who already has experience with another agency and get them working faster.

"They’ve already gone through all the written, the physical, the multiple interview assessment, and they’ve already ranked high on our list so it will give us a new deputy for a fraction of the cost it normally would and they’ll be out on the road pretty quick," Sheriff Beth said.

Sheriff Beth says they are now also considering allowing retired deputies to come back, and said supervisors, court officers, and detective bureau members are prepared to patrol.

“If all heck breaks loose and we have this run ramped[sp] through our department we’re trying to think of all the things we could do to be prepared for it,” Sheriff Beth said.

The sheriff’s department is also taking steps to protect inmates at the jail.

Sheriff Beth says new inmates are quarantined for 14 days, jail employees temperatures are taken daily, and right now inmates are working to create 1,000 masks from old inmate uniforms to protect themselves.

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