TERRE HAUTE (AP) -- Vigo County officials plan to hire a civilian to oversee day-to-day operations of their jail, believing that someone with specialized experience can save money and help prevent lawsuits.
At most Indiana jails, commanders are sworn law-enforcement officers. But last week, the County Council unanimously approved creating the new jail administrator position at the request of Sheriff Jon Marvel.
"It just makes sense," said Marvel, who has no complaints about the current jail commander, a deputy who has been with the department for 17 years.
The commander, Tim Osburn, agrees with Marvel and says the existing position has been a challenge.
The new position will pay $34,767 a year. The sheriff wants a candidate with experience in corrections and hopes to have an administrator in place by June.
Many jail commanders are political appointments who serve at the pleasure of an elected sheriff. A civilian jail administrator would likely remain in office through the administrations of many sheriffs.
Marvel has a candidate in mind but would describe him only as a senior corrections official who plans to retire soon.