Merced County Sheriff's Office swears in 16 new employees

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Several new deputies will soon take to the streets of Merced County. The sheriff's office held a swearing-in ceremony for 16 new employees on Monday in front of a large crowd at Merced's historic courthouse. They include deputy sheriffs, deputy coroners and five trainees who will head to the academy in August.

Sheriff Vern Warnke says they're much needed additions to his department, which has been suffering from low staffing levels. He said, "We are just absolutely honored that with all the hiring problems that we've had throughout the state, we're actually starting to get some very qualified individuals coming on board for our sheriff's office, and the citizens of this county should be very proud of the fact we've got such high-quality individuals."

Warnke says it will still be about six months before the deputies who were sworn in on Monday will be out patrolling the streets.
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