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    Summit County Sheriff's Office narrows deputy shortage with swearing-in of 14 recruits

    By Alisson Toro-Lagos, Akron Beacon Journal,


    The Summit County Sheriff's Office says its stepped-up recruiting strategy is producing tangible results, with 14 new deputies sworn in Monday to help the force address its personnel shortage.

    The office said in a news release that it's on the rebound from 2022, when it was down 59 deputies as retirements heavily outpaced hiring. With this week's addition of new graduates from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office-University of Akron Police Academy, the county is only 28 deputies short of its target number. The recent cadet class was full, and another full class is scheduled to start training in the fall.

    The department now has a total of 298 deputies, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, majors and chiefs.

    Summit County Sheriff Kandy Fatheree said the department is aiming to return to full staffing with two years. She said her office has increased its outreach to women and minorities.

    “There were many groups in our community that, for a long time, were overlooked when it comes to recruitment — those days are over,” Fatheree said.

    With help from grant money, the sheriff's team produced videos and graphics and purchased ads on social media platforms and on TV. The department also increased its visibility at job fairs as well associal and cultural events within Akron's immigrant communities.

    “Every interaction we have with the public is an opportunity to talk about a career with the Sheriff’s Office,” said Academy Commander Bill Holland. “We’re constantly networking and engaging.”

    Fatheree announced that the office is now paying the full tuition of the academy after it's completed and providing an hourly wage during the training to help recruits with their finances.

    "It’s an investment in their future, it’s an investment in the future of our office, and it’s an investment in the safety of our community,” said Sheriff Fatheree. “It’s a win-win no matter how you cut it.”

    This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Summit County Sheriff's Office narrows deputy shortage with swearing-in of 14 recruits

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