Since the first of the year, only 17 candidates have officially applied for the open Marion County deputy sheriff’s position.

And now, as the time ticks towards the Sept. 5 application deadline, the county is in strong pursuit of citizens to up these potential hire numbers.

With both a new deputy sheriff and maybe another opening being sought for the near future, Deputy Clerk Tom Antulov said the department would also like to establish a qualified replacement panel from the current set of applicants. Due to this and the requirement to pass both written and physical agility tests, he said they would ideally like to have between 30 and 50 interested candidates right now.

“We’re just trying to increase our pool of applicants for the examination,” said Antulov. “Things happen and some don’t pass the written test, and some don’t pass the physical agility exam. And that shrinks the panel.”

In addition to passing the tests, all interested applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 45, possess at least a high school diploma and be willing to establish county residency upon being hired.

“We are looking for individuals who want to perform a public service for the people of Marion County who will help make Marion County a safe place to live and raise a family,” said Sheriff Junior Slaughter. “I think this is a great place to raise a family and all in all, a great place with great citizens. And we are trying to keep it that way.”

With the exam scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 18 at East Fairmont High School, applications can be picked up at the county clerk’s office in Fairmont and are due back there by 4:30 p.m. Sept. 5.

Offering a starting salary of only $24,454, Slaughter said he mainly attributes the few number of applicants for the deputy sheriff position thus far to this low pay scale. Especially since in addition to having to pass two challenging examinations, the hired individuals must undergo 16 weeks of extensive training at the West Virginia State Police Academy as well as spend his or her first year of the job on probation.

“You are certainly not going to get rich on this salary. There has to be a dedication to the job,” he said. “We do hope that down the road the salary will increase though.”

E-mail Mallory Panuska at mpanuska@timeswv.com.

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