Durham County Sheriff says staffing situation is 'dire'

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham County Sheriff's Office shut down its parking lot Thursday afternoon for a job fair.

"In my opinion, it's dire," said Sheriff Clarence Birkhead.

The sheriff said that, because of the pandemic and lower, less competitive salaries, right now there are 44 vacancies in the detention center and 17 vacancies on the law enforcement side.

"Our system is in need of reform," he said. "Obviously we understand that with what's going on across the country. So I want people who are committed to to change, who are committed to service."

Applicant Picasso Keaton was in the right place at the right time on Thursday.

"I was in the courtroom taking care of some things and I'm like, 'oh let me come down.' I'm glad I stopped by the tent," said Picasso Keaton, applicant.

Keaton said working for the sheriffs department isn't what he planned when he graduated college but it's an opportunity to make a difference.

"I love people so that's my main reason. I love giving back to the community. I'm from here. Why not?" Keaton said.

If interested in becoming a deputy, you can apply here.
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