TUCSON – Most people would never associate going to jail as a place with great opportunities.
However, 14 years ago, the then 18-year-old Sarah Ruiz walked into the Pima County Jail and since then, doors have been opening up for her.
“I thought this would be a great place to start at 18 years old and make the most money I could find out there and I decided to stay,” she said.
She was promoted to sergeant in three years and is currently a commander in charge of administrative segregation and disciplinary housing.
She is also a part of the newly formed recruiting unit that started in January.
Last weekend Ruiz and the rest of the recruiting unit set up booths at the Thunder and Lightning over Arizona Air Show at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to get information out.
Sgt. Tony Kelly who is the recruiting coordinator for the entire sheriff’s department said they were finding that the academies were getting smaller and smaller as the economy got better and in his opinion, the job market is pretty open.
“The recruiters that were at the air show recruit for all the jobs. They talked about maybe being a fingerprint technician or being a cook at the jail or maybe working in property,” said Kelly.
Since the recruiting unit started they’ve seen a dramatic increase in applicants.
“It’s a good career, it’s a safe career, and we make it that way because of the people that we work with,” Ruiz said.