MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is hiring deputies and corrections officers.

Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett said MCSO is feeling the nationwide law enforcement hiring pinch.

“Every law enforcement agency in our nation is going through a crisis of hiring employees,” Sheriff Puckett said.

He said in Morgan County they aren’t just looking for people to sit in seats, but finding the right people for the job. Puckett added they are urgently hiring corrections officers as they are “still probably about 13 corrections officers short.”

The Sheriff said they’ve made progress to overcome being down enough officers to cover an entire shift, but are still hiring.

He understands that being a corrections officer isn’t an easy job, and it takes the right kind of people.

“It is a difficult and dangerous job,” he said. “These men and women in our jail risk their lives every day.”

Sheriff Puckett said Morgan County has been working over the past few years to increase wages.

“The last four years we have increased deputy and correctional officers pay. We’re competitive, we should be paying more, but we’re doing as a county, we’re doing pretty much all we can do.” Sheriff Puckett continued, “It’s just the revenue stream has got to be a little bigger.”

The Sheriff’s Office currently has two postings for corrections officers online. The pay listed is $17.30 an hour. At 40 hours a week, that comes in at just under $36,000 a year.

There is also an opening for a Sheriff’s Deputy position in the Hartselle area. The salary for that is $20.41 an hour.

Sheriff Puckett said the hiring of deputies has improved recently. Until recently, there were 9 openings for deputies. The Sheriff said they have recently hired some people, and now only have three spots to fill.

He said he’s hopeful they will fill those remaining spots by early next year. “Hopefully first of the year when the new academy starts, we’ll be able to have three in the academy and fill those positions.”

Despite any hiring challenges, the Sheriff said he’s proud of his team and the service they provide to the community.

“Our citizens need to understand that they can depend on us,” he said. “If they call us, we’re coming, we’re not going to sacrifice our citizens’ safety because of a shortage of employees.”

You can learn more about openings with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office by clicking here.