A Southwest Missouri sheriff is looking at options for keeping his jailers, and inmates, safer.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay says while there are eight people who work in the jail, there are times when staffing only allows for one on duty deputy for as many as eighty inmates. He says this can create safety concerns, for jailers and inmates, because it can increase the amount of time it takes to respond to a crisis. Recently, a jailer was injured in an escape attempt, requiring backup from road deputies, Mt. Vernon police officers and conservation agents. DeLay says that jailer was the only one on duty at the time. He is hoping the recently passed law enforcement sales tax will offer some relief, but says it will not have much impact in the short term.

“That actually took effect October 1, so that revenue is being collected now, but with the way that the state pays, and how often they issue checks out, we’re looking at maybe the first of this year, or the end of this year before we actually see one of those checks.” DeLay says.

DeLay is hoping the sales tax revenue will be enough to allow him to hire at least one or two additional jailers.

By Jeremiah Cook | KSN News