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Muskegon Co. commissioners postpone vote to hire more correctional officers, prosecutor positions

During the meeting, Prosecutor DJ Hilson said he was disappointed because his office can't afford to sit around and wait.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — In Muskegon County, requests made by the sheriff and prosecutor to fill critical positions are being tabled for now.

During a meeting Tuesday afternoon, county commissioners chose to postpone the votes for new correctional officers, assistant prosecutors and more.

It seems the commissioners agree there needs to be more staff, however it's about how it's going to happen. They're considering a salary rate study for the positions before they vote yes or no.

Muskegon County Sheriff Michael Poulin wants to create six new correctional officer positions that would bring staffing numbers up to the lowest critical number of officers required to work each shift.

The more than $715,000 dollars to pay for the positions would come out of unassigned funds from the general fund for 2022 and 2023.

The commission denied the request, hoping to table the issue for later, leaving the sheriff frustrated.

"These are positions we're trying to catch back up from when this new facility was opened in 2015. The staff study then called for 59 corrections officers to operate that facility," said Poulin. "When I took office, there were 42 operating that facility and we've only increased that number by six during that period."

Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson is also looking to fill several positions including a "Safe Senior" assistant prosecutor position, as well as a digital media-discovery coordinator. He's also looking to adjust salary rates for assistant prosecutors positions. 

He says some of the positions will be paid through the general fund and-or the prosecutor budget surplus, and assuming it's paid out of the adult-use marijuana payment, there would be no impact to the general fund.

During the meeting, Hilson said he was disappointed with the decision to postpone because his office can't afford to just sit around and wait.

He's hoping for action and if the county does decide to do a salary study, he wants a time table for it, such as 60 days.

    

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