DETROIT (WWJ) – As overtime has been a chronic problem in the Wayne County jails this year, a new class of deputies has graduated to join the Sheriff’s Office.
Among them is retired Detroit Police investigator Lee Ray Stephens, who was with the police department for 26 years.
Stephens, who was president of his class, explained why he’s going back to work.
“Well, I just feel I still have something left in me to give the community,” Stephens said. “I thought joining the sheriff’s department would be one way of giving back again.”
“The Wayne County Sheriff offers a variety of policing,” Stephens added. “Internet crime, the jail system, as you know — so I just thought hey, something I can get into, something I like and something that can enhance my police skills as well.”
Stephens was one of 13 new deputies to graduate as Sheriff Benny Napoleon has recommended hiring 150 deputies to ease chronic overtime in the county jails.
Undersheriff Daniel Pfannes said that the jail system is one of the largest in the state and the department can use all of the help that it can get.
“Ninety-five percent of those people are felons,” Pfannes said. “The vast majority of them are involved in violent crime. The fact is that many of these people are dangerous.”