ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office is in need of more than two dozen correctional officers.

Officer Jared Smith got his start as a corrections officer nearly 20 years ago and now is tasked with helping the department recruit others.

“[We want someone to be] part of this family, right? We [have] about 160 officers upstairs, in the jail, working throughout the week,” he said.

Right now, more than 700 inmates are housed at the Winnebago County Jail, and police need 25 new officers to help the jail operate.

Smith says applicants receive on-the-job training.

“We’ll also send you to the state academy as well. You have to be 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and also have either a high school diploma or GED,” he explained.

Making a difference in the community is what Smith said the job is all about, and said he personally enjoyed the teamwork among officers.

“So, you kind of get to get in there and meet new individuals, but kind of become part of that family of individuals that you are expecting to be there with you, and are there for you, and backing [each other] up on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

The day-to-day business involves helping to care for the custody of each inmate.

Smith says he’s looking forward to meeting new officers and the hiring process takes only 4 to 6 weeks.