Overtime funds were approved Monday for the Parker County Sheriff’s Office after at least six employees were out last Friday due to COVID-19.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler confirmed there were six employees out with COVID-19 on Jan. 8.
“More is expected, but we’ve had some that have been out and have returned to work. With just the nature of the disease, you’re bound to run across it anywhere and some of the people we deal with, we don’t know where they’ve been or what they’ve been doing," he said. "So there’s not a safety valve because of the nature of the work.”
The commissioners court approved overtime funds to provide adequate pay to sheriff’s office employees who are called in to work additional shifts.
“We’re going to run short, that’s a given, and so we need to make up that pay,” Fowler said. “So let’s say someone has been asked to pull a double shift because we’re shorthanded, with the commissioners court action we will now be able to pay them for that.”
County Judge Pat Deen said the overtime funds are within the county’s budget.
As for the Parker County Jail, Warden Ron King provided the Weatherford Democrat with their COVID-19 reports, which shows that as of Friday, there are currently zero active cases among staff and inmates.
Since May 1, 2020, there have been a total of 10 positive COVID-19 cases among the jail’s inmates and a total of 21 positive COVID-19 cases among the jail’s staff and volunteers. There have been 28 negative tests between inmates and jail staff.
“The governor has not opened up visitation yet, so we’ve had no visitation since March 13 and then no volunteers come in and no tours. Our chaplain has been in because he’s an employee and church has continued,” King said. “Our staff wears masks, at every entrance we have a temperature control log and a questionnaire, we have clean-up kits and sally ports for all the vehicles and every person that comes in is offered a mask. We’ve been lucky, we’re knocking on wood right now."