GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County will be temporarily closing its juvenile detention facility starting on March 1. That’s because it needs about 30 security officers there to move to the adult facility.

Greenville County budgets for 248 positions at the detention center.

“Our staffing has taken a hit in the last about year or so,” Lt. Kevin Roberts, the hiring manager at the Greenville County Detention Center, said.

But right now, they’re down about 70 officers, something that’s not unique to Greenville County.

“Corrections is having difficulty with staffing. Everybody is having difficulty with staffing. We live in a very unique time,” county spokesperson Bob Mihalic said.

Much of the problem is being blamed on the pandemic.

“From about a year ago to two years ago we had a full staff, and it’s been within the last year or 18 months that it started going down,” Roberts said.

The solution for now is to close the juvenile facility, and transfer those inmates to Columbia. This allows staff there to help fill the gap at the adult detention center.

“We still have enough people to safely run the place. We would just like some more people so we have a little bit more cushion,” Roberts said.

It’s a move that ensures staffing levels stay above the South Carolina State Minimum Standards.

“We have to run a safe and secure facility,” Roberts said.

The more permanent solution is to hire for those dozens of open positions.

“We have a diverse group of offender population, and it requires a diverse group of officers,” Roberts said.

He said the biggest part of the job is communications.

“It’s a people oriented business it’s community service we deal with people from the time we get here until the time we leave,” Roberts said.

On top of that, the job offers benefits, a retirement plan and a way to give back to the community.

“When I first started I needed a job and it turned out to be a career because it’s something I realized I enjoy doing and I could see myself doing it for a long time,” Roberts said.

The detention center will still have space to house youthful offenders in the short term that is separate from the adult population.