Each of the 627 deputies employed at the Denver city and county jails soon will be required to work one or two overtime shifts every month until a severe staffing shortage is remedied, authorities say.
Denver sheriff's deputies were notified two weeks ago about the new mandatory overtime rule, which begins in October, said Simon Crittle, spokesman for the Denver Sheriff Department.
Currently, the sheriff's department is about 47 positions short of full staffing at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars each month in overtime payments, Crittle said. Denver spent more than $6 million on overtime costs in 2014, authorities have said.
Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday unveiled a budget proposal for 2016 that includes 43 new positions for deputies and supervisors in the sheriff's department. Hancock also announced that the city would accelerate deputy recruitment efforts, aiming for 200 academy graduates by 2017.
The current staffing gap has been an issue since the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center, which holds 1,200 inmates, was opened in 2010, Crittle said.
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