Clallam County to extend Norpoint security contract another six months

Corrections deputy says new hires are going through academy

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County will extend its contract with Norpoint Services for courthouse security another six months to allow newly hired corrections deputies to complete their academy training.

The county commissioners will consider approving the contract extension at their next regular meeting, set for 10 a.m. June 11 in the commissioners’ meeting room at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles.

“We had the intentions and hopes that, by the time we hit this, we would be staffed enough that we could either get two corrections deputies out there or at least get one corrections deputy and then supplement that with a new operations deputy that’s waiting to go to the academy,” Chief Corrections Deputy Don Wenzl told the commissioners at their Monday work session.

Wenzl said there are three people in the corrections academy right now, but they are not yet qualified to perform courthouse security. Those three will be at the academy until mid- to late July, and another will start the academy next month and complete their training in October, he said.

Eight positions are currently open, Wenzl said.

“We do have a new guy starting on June 17,” he said. “We’re getting there, but it’s a work in progress.”

“We anticipate having probably four openings by October, based on the rate of hire,” Sheriff Brian King said. “But it’s all good. We’re chiseling away. We’re on the right path.”

Wenzl added, “Our vacancies have been going down, not up, which is nice.”

King said looking at the staffing averages over the first six months of the year, they can still anticipate about $80,000 in “underspend,” or positions that are budgeted but not filled.

“And so I think we just watch that real closely and at some point say, ‘Are we going to have to come back for a budget emergency?’ ” he said.

In August 2022, the county commissioners approved a contract with Norpoint to provide courthouse security through the remainder of 2022. It has been extended several times since.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.gawley@peninsulanews.us.

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