PICKAWAY COUNTY, Ohio — For the first time in a long while Pickaway County Sheriff Matthew Hafey can say it.
“It’s been since before I took office,” he said.
Three critical law enforcement pillars, including dispatchers, road division and deputies working the jail, are at full staff. It’s a major campaign promise fulfilled since Hafey took office in January.
In the past couple years, Pickaway County and towns in it have had their share of issues from staffing shortages to failures with its 911 system that Hafey says caused good employees to leave for better opportunities.
Since January, the sheriff’s office has gained two road patrol units, two detectives, four corrections officers, two dispatchers and one employee working court services.
Hafey says it’s a turnaround that has not only been good for staffing but also morale.
“Our own people are saying ‘Hey, this is a decent place to work, why don’t you come with me here at the sheriff’s office’,” Hafey said. “To me, that tickles me pink.”
Full capacity at the county level has a ripple effect. Hafey says it will help smaller communities and towns like Ashville and Circleville with larger events like next week’s Pumpkin Show while helping to reduce the number of mandatory overtime.
“It’ll be greatly reduced,” Hafey said of overtime. “It’ll be less stress on the deputies, which means less stress on their families and just better overall mental and physical health for our staff here.”
Hafey says the positions filled did not come at any extra expense to taxpayers, as every position was already documented in this year’s budget.