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County facility ramps up to full-time use
Frio County Chief Deputy Peter Salinas will host a free jailer certification class beginning Monday, December 6, as part of a continuing effort to help increase staff numbers and boost the local economy and employment rate.
The three-week 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 in Frio County 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, Dec. 24, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Upon completion of the course, participants will be eligible to test for the TCOLE basic jailer’s 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,” 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 the chief deputy, as of press time on Tuesday, there are still five spots available in the class.
Salinas said any further vacancies at the jail would be offered to cadets who have successfully completed the course.
“We hope to keep these cadets 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.
The Frio County Jail has undergone extensive maintenance and repairs over the past ten months, and several self-initiated walk-throughs by Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Brandon Wood, as the county and sheriff’s office have worked to return the facility to full-time operations.
Salinas said he expects the county to see considerable savings on its budget as detainees presently housed in other counties are returned to Frio.
“Transporting those inmates back will save us an average of fifty dollars a day per inmate,” the chief deputy said. “The savings we will see from not having to house those inmates elsewhere will help our budget and we can create jobs.”