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You can now be as young as 18 and get a deputy job in Sedgwick County Jail.

Bo Rader

To get more applicants for deputy jobs at the Sedgwick County Jail, the Sheriff’s Office is lowering the minimum age of applicants to 18.

The minimum age, since Jeff Easter took over as sheriff, has been 19, said sheriff’s Lt. Tim Myers.

The office announced the change in an email sent to media on Monday.

After Easter was elected six years ago, he said that he was considering raising the minimum age for new jail deputies from 18 to 21. Easter said then that he wondered if an 18-year-old had enough maturity to deal with people who end up in the jail.

“You’re handling folks that have mental illness,” people who are gang members and people who have committed heinous crimes, he said at the time. “And I don’t think a lot of high-schoolers have exposure to that before they’re 18. We’re putting people in a bad spot, in my opinion.”

Starting pay for jailers is $15.96 an hour, Myers said Monday.

“Applicants must pass a written test, physical test, psychological test, drug test, polygraph and background check,” the Sheriff’s Office said in its news release.

The office said that anyone with questions about the position should contact Sgt. Steve Olsen, at 316-660-3825, at the Wichita/Sedgwick County Law Enforcement Training Center.

Tim Potter has covered crime and safety for The Eagle for more than 20 years. His focus is the story behind the story and government accountability. He can be reached at 316-268-6684.