Sheriff: I Need Money For More Jail Guards (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose - 21Alive News

December 27, 2013 Updated Dec 27, 2013 at 7:03 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- How dangerous is it to work at the Allen County jail?

Sheriff Ken Fries says he needs more jail guards.

"We recently had a study done that shows we are short on staff, so I will present that to county council and see if we can find some qualified people,” Fries says.

Fries was already short-staffed at the jail before one of his confinement officers was beaten into unconsciousness by an inmate on Christmas day, sending him to the hospital in serious condition.

That officer went home Friday, but Fries worries he may lose some of his guards as a result, knowing one of their colleagues was hurt so severely.

"This is probably the best group of confinement officers we've ever had working here. If you stop and think about the fact that here's one of their fellow officers got severely beaten by an inmate, and the inmate comes down uninjured. It speaks a lot to the professionalism of the officers. They did an unbelievable job of restraint and professionalism, just restraining him and bringing him downstairs,” Fries says.

Besides keeping the confinement officers he has, Fries wants county council to give him money to hire more.

But he says it's difficult to find qualified candidates for the job.

"Last time we tried to take applications, we had 350 applicants. Out of that, we had 10 that made it to polygraph, and only four passed the polygraph. Out of 356 people. So finding good, competent, qualified people is difficult,” Fries says.

Fries hopes to present his case to county council after the first of the year.

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