The public lobby at the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office will be open one hour less each weekday so staff will have more time to deal with a deluge of people seeking concealed weapons permits and more paperwork being created by sex offenders.
Sheriff Ben Wolfinger announced Thursday that the lobby will now be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"This will leave the last hour of the business day for employees to process all of the requests and permit applications that come in daily," Wolfinger said, in a press release.
He said the increase in the office's workload is matched with a decrease in staff available to deal with it.
The number of concealed weapons permit applications has gone up 60 percent this year, Wolfinger said, and "primary and updated registration of sex offenders" has increased 157 percent.
"This is in addition to the increasing workload of inmate files, criminal and accident reports and other paperwork generated by the deputies in the sheriff's office," he said.
In a message to The Press, Wolfinger said the number of sex offenders in Kootenai County has not risen significantly.
"But they are moving more often and updating their addresses," Wolfinger said.
The sheriff's office's online sex offender database, accessed through the agency's website (www.kcsheriff.com), listed 353 registered offenders living in the county as of Thursday evening.
In June, the sheriff's office stopped processing concealed weapons permit applications and renewals on Mondays, to give staff extra time to handle paperwork generated by incidents taking place over the weekends.