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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Detention Center will soon have more deputies staffed to help with growing safety issues.

Today New Hanover County Commissioners approved more than $250,000 to hire eight deputies to work in the jail.

Sheriff Ed McMahon says because of a recent statewide overhaul to the criminal justice system, the county jail has seen a dramatic increase in inmate population.

There is currently a ratio of one officer to every 64 inmates, which McMahon says is a huge safety concern. He also says suicide attempts have already doubled from last year.

Also at today’s meeting, commissioners approved a bonus for Alcoholic Beverage Control Board CEO Dan Sykes. Sykes will get a $7,000 bonus.

Commissioners say they have seen a change in how the board is being led, which they say is attributed to an increase in sales and a decrease in expenses.

Last year commissioners unanimously voted not to approve a $5,000 for Sykes.

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