COVID-19 impacting staffing among Nueces County jailers

Nueces County jail
Posted at 9:42 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 00:22:34-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — COVID-19 is making an impact among Nueces County jailers.

So much so that other sheriff's office employees have been reassigned to fill those roles.

Does that mean 30 deputies are off patrols?

That's one of the big questions that remains tonight.

Is it deputies? Or other employees?

It's also not clear how well or how prepared these other employees are for working in a jail.

Whether it's the main jail or the annex, or both, 30 Nueces County Sheriff's Office employees who don't normally work there will -- temporarily.

Given these uncertain times, you don't even have to ask why.

"Like so many other establishments that have a workforce that have been compromised with COVID-19, the jail is one of those places,” Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said. At today's daily COVID-19 press briefing, Canales said that she hadn't spoken to Sheriff J.C. Hooper … and she didn't have much information.

But Canales said she did have compassion for the sheriff, who is already dealing with staffing issues and now is trying to run jails during a global pandemic.

“He already has lots of vacancies,” Canales said. “To try and deal with a reduction in manpower because members of his staff have to quarantine."

Canales didn't know how many of the reassigned employees are actually deputies, but check this out.

I spoke to Precinct 4 Constable Robert Sherwood, who said he received an email from the sheriff saying to expect delays right now if the constable's deputies need assistance from the sheriff's office.

We’re working to find out more.

"You've asked the good question, let me get the good answer,” Canales said.

That answer could come Wednesday at 9 a.m.

That's when the Commissioners Court has their regular meeting.

Sheriff Hooper told our Greg Chandler this afternoon that’s when he'll have a full report on the jail situation.