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Certification course begins Dec. 6, free to first applicants
Two weeks after receiving the green light to open as a full-time facility, the Frio County Jail will host a free jailer certification class beginning Monday, December 6.
The three-week long class will meet the 120-hour course requirements set by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) necessary to prepare participants to receive their TCOLE basic jailer’s license.
In order to work in any correctional facility, a TCOLE certification is mandated by the state and typically comes with a price tag of $425.
The course is free to the first ten individuals who fill out an application at the sheriff’s office.
In order to apply, a person must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and pass a criminal background check, according to staff at the sheriff’s office.
The class runs daily through Friday, December 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Upon completion of the course, participants will be eligible to test for the TCOLE basic jailer licensing exam at the Alamo Area Regional Law Enforcement Academy in San Antonio.
“We hope to fill any available positions open at the jail with cadets who have taken our course,” Chief Deputy Peter Salinas said. “Completing the course and passing the exam will give them the option to work anywhere in the state of Texas as a licensed jailer.”
According to Salinas, any further vacancies at the jail will be offered to cadets who have completed the course.
“We hope to keep these people available to us but also see this course as an opportunity for our community members to possibly find employment anywhere available,” the chief deputy said.
On Friday, November 12 the doors of the jail were open to house inmates after nearly 11 years of operating as a 72-hour holding facility.
Salinas said ten Frio County inmates housed in neighboring counties have been transported back to Frio County.
“We wanted to get our staff used to the additional standards that come with full-time facility status,” Salinas said. “They did well; we now have fourteen inmates.”
The jail is also processing and housing offenders brought in by local law enforcement agencies.
There are currently approximately 40 other offenders housed in other counties on behalf of Frio County. Salinas said those detainees will be transported back to Pearsall in increments as the county jail builds its population.
“Our goal is to expand up to 64 inmates by the end of this fiscal year,” the chief deputy said. “If this occurs, the savings we will see from not having to house inmates outside the county will be seen and we hope to facilitate more staff.”