LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – In a passionate plea to commissioners, Wilson County EMA Director Joey Cooper asked county commissioners for county employee staff raises. In his 33 years with WEMA, he says the county has never been in this bad of shape.

Currently, the county is facing more than two dozen vacancies. In particular, the county jail is lacking enough correctional officers to match the number of inmates.

Chief Deputy Mike Owen considers this a safety issue. He also mentioned litter clean up and inmate work duty will end for the near future due to lack of deputies.

Law enforcement across the country is facing the hurdle of finding new officers.

“A lot of officers are leaving their agencies to work in the private sector,” Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “When you can go to the private sector and make 10-15 more dollars an hour, you can have a job where you don’t have to worry about your safety.”

Sheriff Bryan says a job fair is coming up to recruit new officers. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Wilson County deputy, please click here.