Tarrant County has entered an agreement with Florida-based agency Recourse Communications Inc. to improve staff shortages in the sheriff’s office through recruitment and retention.

According to the document provided during the July 18 Commissioners Court meeting, the agreement will cost $37,485 and be a 90-day contract. The agreement was approved unanimously 3-0 with Commissioners Gary Fickes and Manny Ramirez as well as County Judge Tim O'Hare voting. Commissioners Alissa Simmons and Roy Charles Brooks were absent.

“Currently, there are over 200 detention officer vacancies within the Sheriff’s Department Confinement Division,” the document states. “These vacancies have placed a significant strain on current detention officers, requiring the officers to work a 50-plus hour workweek. While current recruitment efforts continue to bring in a certain number of new employees, these numbers are not sufficient to meet the county’s needs.”

The details

Tarrant County has previously needed to send 432 inmates to a Garza County jail due to overcrowding, which was causing jail employees to work excessive overtime.

That was an $18 million contract with a private Delaware-based company called Management & Training Corp. The money for that came from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act.

Notable quote

“Anything that we can do, any resources we can utilize to help [the sheriff’s office] get staffed up and alleviate the pressure at the jail, I think it’s worth the effort,” said Ramirez, who represents Precinct 4.