COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) — Law enforcement is more than just a job for Tobias Yuhouse.

“It’s like a family thing,” Yuhouse said. “I’ve had uncles, cousins & people all through our family who have always been involved in law enforcement.”

Yuhouse has been part of the force for 20 years and worked in different departments in the Pittsburgh area. Now that he’s moved to Georgia, he wants to serve in this community.

“You want to live in an area that you know is safe. What better way to make it safe than working there yourself.”

That sense of service is one of the top qualities the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is looking for.

“Law enforcement is not something you just do,” Sgt. Daniel Massey with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office explained. “You have to have your heart into it.”

CCSO hosted a career fair Thursday to recruit new employees. They are hiring patrol deputies, deputy jailers and communications officers. Like other sheriff’s and police departments, they have several open positions.

“There’s always a turnover in this profession because as they say, ‘You don’t get rich in law enforcement,'” Massey said. “During these COVID times, there’s more.”

And, it is more competitive. Columbia County raised its minimum wage for county employees in 2021, a strategy to keep existing employees and recruit new ones.

“Columbia County sticks out because it starts from the top. We have good management and leadership up top that passes down to the guys and ladies who work on the shift.”