ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Working at any jail is a tough job, but now some Orange County corrections officers say it’s made tougher by working conditions at the Orange County Jail.
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“We recognize that these men and women have a responsibility to man the front line,” said Nelson Cruz from the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents the corrections officers. “We wish that they would be cared for with the same kind of compassion and service that is required of them to care for citizens coming through the door. and they are not being cared for.”
Cruz said the inmates are being cared for better than the staff.
In a letter to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, the union gave a list of top issues. Among them, the culture and being called in for mandatory overtime.
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Cruz told 9 investigates, “Our officers are being mandatoried on the day they are scheduled to be off, asked to report to work. And if they don’t come, they are facing discipline.”
Corrections officers said managers are approving vacation time and ordering other officers to fill those spots on their days off, and Cruz says sometimes that means calling them in with only a few days notice.
The number of open positions is now at 212, an increase from about 187 in November. The jail spokesperson said mandatory overtime remains in place, and they continue to monitor it closely to ensure adequate staffing levels.
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The union said it is about 20 cases of discipline it is fighting right now because of mandatory overtime no-shows and claim there is no set standard for requiring people to work.
“There seems to be a lack of leadership but an abundance of management,” Cruz said.
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In November, Jail Chief Louis Quinones told nine investigates in our first report on jail staffing, “we have what’s called a staffing matrix, and we’re within those guidelines. and what I would tell you is that we’re constantly reviewing that information.”
Since then, it seems little has changed except that the workforce is even smaller. but now since we have been digging into the issues the union and the county are expected to meet Tuesday to try and work out these issues.
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