By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Elizabeth Johnson is to potentially be the newest Kosciusko County Sheriff’s deputy.
At its Wednesday, May 12, meeting, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Merit Board approved the initial hiring of Johnson.
Johnson is from Whitley County and is currently serving as a Kosciusko County correctional officer.
Her official hiring is dependent on a decision from the county’s Wage Committee, explained Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes.
“Kosciusko County has a new policy that through the Wage Committee that if somebody leaves in county government and there’s a spot open we have to get permission through the Wage Committee to rehire for that line item,” he said.
The committee should vote on that in a few weeks, Dukes said.
Johnson’s hiring will make the department fully staffed at 40 merit officers.
The board also heard an update on the county’s Jail Chemical Addiction Program from its Coordinator Courtney Jenkins.
The program is partnering with the The Mom of an Addict Inc. for a family support group.
“So we have kind of partnered with (The Mom of an Addict’s Jeni Streeter). We’ll do three or four classes as our participants are in the program, that way we can talk with them about what they’re learning and kind of keep them up to date on that,” said Jenkins. “But then as our participants transition out of the program, we will transition their families then to Jeni’s group.”
“So it will kind of help her build her base here in the community but also take a little bit of pressure off of us as far as time commitment and really be able to offer those families a good support system moving forward,” she said.
In other business, the board:
- Heard from Jail Commander 1st Sgt. Shane Coney there were 248 people in the jail at the time of the meeting. The jail has a capacity of about 302.
- Coney also showed the board a UV-C cleaning device that can be placed in a room to kill COVID-19 and other diseases. The county has one for the jail and one for the work release center, and both of the R-Zero devices were paid for by a grant.
- Heard from Dukes that “the sheriff’s office boat patrol at Wawasee and Tippy Lake is raring to go.” At Lake Wawasee, there are five boats, and at Tippecanoe Lake, there are four.