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Wichita County Jail workers to see boost in paychecks

County commissioners say salary increases are vital in keeping employees in departments
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 8:48 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita County Commissioners made decisions during a meeting that would make sure that employees working in the county jail have equal pay.

The pay increases will range from $1,000 to $1,600 for current and new employees. Wichita County Commissioners said salary increases are vital in keeping employees, especially in a department as important as the jail.

“Adding that additional money to their salaries will help us be more competitive in the marketplace. When we’re competing against Allred and our local areas we have to stay in a competitive rate against those folks,” said Mark Beauchamp, Wichita County Commissioner for Precinct 1.

Although Wichita County has already hired eight new employees to work inside the jail, commissioners say they can always use more.

“We’re still in the hiring process and we’re understaffed right now. Actually we’ve always been understaffed. I think the statement was made this morning that the one week we were fully staffed was two years ago,” said Beauchamp.

County commissioners say every year they look for ways in the county’s budget to increase payrolls.

“It works out about every three years we do something across the board. So this year we looked really long and hard with our sheriff’s office staff and what that impact would be,” said Beauchamp.

Another topic that was discussed with county commissioners and the county IT departments was DUO, a two-step login security program.

“This is a perfect time to implement more authenticity in our login process just to secure us,” said Jeff Watts, Wichita County Commissioner for Precinct 4. “We have more people than ever having the need to login from home to our servers here at the courthouse. So all of those things coupled together to increase our security about that is going to be wise to do in the near future.”

The DUO program will cost Wichita County a little less than a $1,000 a month, if they decided to approve the program. However, a topic that will be moving forward is a change in the county jail software system’s host.

“Odyssey software is migrating and being hosted differently than how we’re hosting today. It’s still in the cloud and we pay for that service but we just are able to store without concern for such a greater period of time,” said Watts.

That change will be monitored over two weeks to make sure everything goes smoothly until the final switchover happens in the next couple of weeks, while pay raises are set to start Oct. 15.

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