'I think it’s too early to tell what the longterm impact is on retention,' the sheriff said.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is in talks with a specialist the agency is interested in contracting with to perform testing on the Operations Center, where more than 30 employees have filed worker’s compensation claims saying the county-owned building has made them sick, despite assurances from specialists hired by the county that the building is essentially safe.
Employees have been evacuated from the building, and Sheriff Rick Staly has said he won’t move them back in until he’s had the building tested.
Meanwhile, Staly said, the Operations Center issues don’t seem to be having an impact on recruiting or retention.
“At this point I don’t think it’s had any impact on either one of those,” Staly said. “We’re still able to recruit. Obviously, our new hires are not working in that building. We’re using other areas to do the classroom training. ... It makes it more difficult for the staff, but as far as new employees, I don’t think we’re seeing any significant impact.”
But, he added, “I think it’s too early to tell what the long-term impact is on retention, because we don’t know what the end game is on this building.”
New deputy employees are being trained at the old jail administrative building, he said, while civilian employees are having their new hire orientation at the administrative building before they’re moved for on-the-job training.
The agency hired five new law enforcement employees July 5, to replace current employees who will be moved into the schools this coming school year as additional school resource deputies.
“It’s really the current employees that were relocated out of the building that have these concerns,” Staly said.