Did you know that the budget for the sheriff's office last fiscal year was 1.6 million dollars? That is ALOT of money. This is the operating budget for the office which covers every detail within the sheriff's office. Wages, fuel, food, medical care for inmates, office supplies, utility bills, dispatch equipment, ammunition for training, reserve deputy pay and equipment, courtroom security. Anything associated with the sheriff's office comes out of this budget. The good news is money is returned to the taxpayers at the end of the year, because not all of the budget is spent and my budget is much less than surrounding counties such as Worth and Floyd.
Finishing 2017 at the sheriff's office was bitter sweet for us. Retiring Deputies Jeff Huftalin and Jerry Jensen finished their careers and now are enjoying retirement. With both Jeff and Jerry leaving and taking 40 years of experience with them, it makes some big shoes to fill.
Retirements create opportunity and in December my office hired Justin Trees as a deputy sheriff. Justin brings 14 years of experience with him to the sheriff's office. You will begin to see Justin around the county and he and his family around Osage. Please make them feel welcome when you see them. Wrestling runs deep in Justin's family so you may have already bumped into him and his family around the wrestling mat. The selection process is underway to fill the final vacancy within the office.
The sheriff's office is in very good shape. The staff continues to do great work in tough conditions or under a lot of stress. The most difficult problem facing the sheriff's office is inmates with drug, alcohol and or mental health problems. The jail staff is trained to monitor and maintain safety within the jail, provide for the basic needs of the inmate and return them back to society no worse than when they arrived at our facility. This is difficult when it is professional medical and mental health care that is needed.
The deputies continue to do great work within the county. My deputy staffing levels are much lower than the surrounding counties, but we are able to meet the needs of the citizens so I am comfortable where we are at. I am always interested in citizen input on the service we provide to you, areas we can improve on and programs that would make your quality of life better in Mitchell County.
The last day of 2017 I added a K9 back to the staff of the sheriff's office. His name is REV. More on him later.
Good luck moving into 2018 and thank you for supporting the efforts of the sheriff's office.
Mitchell County Sheriff