Sheriff’s Office: over 3,600 calls in 2019

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Brian Morton, Sheriff

Switzerland County

  We had an extremely busy year at the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office and we hit the ground running during my first year as Sheriff. Most people wouldn’t believe the amount of work that goes into running the Sheriff’s Office.

  I’m very fortunate to have such a great crew including the Deputies, Jailers, Dispatchers, and my command staff. This office has already responded to over 3,600 calls — which is quite the workload for only eight road Deputies, our Detectives, Chief Deputy, and Sheriff. Many of these calls require an investigation which at times can be lengthy. Our office has not only investigated your typical calls, but is continuously working on a murder case, a missing person’s case, and dealt with an active shooter.

  The amount of calls paired with over 80 requests for extra patrol keeps everyone very busy. Deputies worked the many road closures in the county this year trying not only to keep the sites secure, but also patrolling the detour routes.

  Our office also has a Detective that is dedicated to drug investigations and is part of the Ohio Valley Crime Suppression Task Force. The Task Force Detective alone filed 68 drug charges and made 24 arrests. These numbers combined with other officer arrests brings the total number of people booked into the jail on drug related charges to 80 this year. Since August there have been 23 arrests made in relation to child sex crimes on social media, which is becoming even more of a concerning issue in today’s world. We have a Detective that works the child solicitation crimes as much as possible along with the many other day to day criminal investigations.

  Anytime Law Enforcement officers are busy this means the jail is busy as well. We currently have 580 total bookings for the year and average 55 inmates daily, reaching our 60 bed capacity four out of 12 months this year. The amount of inmate transports is on the rise with having 160 transports and traveling over 16,000 miles. This year we have traveled as far as Arkansas and Georgia bringing inmates back on warrants.

  If you commit a crime in our county we will come and get you, no matter how far the distance.

  We continue to rent as many beds as possible, which is typically 12-15 beds, in order to help offset staffing costs. We are currently housing inmates from Jefferson County, Hancock County, Decatur County, and on occasion state parole inmates.

  The jail provides many services other than what is seen by the public eye; we recently had an inmate graduate from the adult education class that is provided through River Valley Resources. Community Mental Health provides a drug abuse program which nine inmates have completed this year. Narcotics Anonymous holds weekly meetings in the jail and three church groups meet with inmates on a weekly basis. A new phone system was installed in the jail at no cost to the county as the system is paid for through inmate visitation and calling.

  I created a Facebook page for the office in order to try and keep citizens informed on events that are happening in and around the county. The Facebook page is a great way to get the word out, and we appreciate all post shares, comments, and other interactions when we need the public’s assistance.

  As always, our door is open and I encourage people to contact me for a visit and tour of the facility. People that have never been in or around a law enforcement agency are amazed at the activity and what it takes to keep things running. I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year, while we look forward to serving you in 2020.

  Note: The final year end stats will be posted in the near future.