The goal of the Barry County’s Sheriff’s Office is to insure its residents and visitors have a safe and secure place to live, work and visit.
In the annual statistics report on the law enforcement organization Wednesday, Sheriff Dar Leaf said keeping Barry County a good place to live has 75 people and countless volunteers in the organization working on it every day.
This year the department had several replacements of worn out equipment including 22 new radios, camera and intercom system upgrades, two motors for marine boats, broken tables and chairs replaced, failing locks replaced, improved energy saving lighting, old flooring replaced and the jail’s kitchen equipment significantly upgraded, Leaf said.
Internally, deputies have taken training in using beanbag shotgun shells for another tool to use instead of deadly force, rewritten its policy procedures, bringing them up to date, completed a electronic warrant request system for faster response to situations in the field, issued Narcan kits to counteract opioid overdoses, provided corrections officers with training on a manikin named Rescue Randy and is in the process of transferring paper records onto CD’s.
The sheriff, undersheriff, administrative assistant, deputy clerk, the sheriff’s Posse, a law enforcement lieutenant, two detectives, a K-9 Unit, secondary road patrols, a Middleville Unit, a Marine Division, a deputy on the Southwest Enforcement Team, animal control, 14 corrections officers, cook and kitchen staff, a corrections clerk and a scanning clerk, Victims Services Unit and the Sheriff’s Auxiliary, are all part of the team. //
Weekend drug screenings, assigning not yet sentenced, non-violent offenders to community service, issuing pistol permits, taking fingerprints, incident reports, background checks and FOIA requests, are part of the routine business of the office.
Several programs are available for inmates physical and mental health while incarcerated, including Forgotten Man Ministries, church services, behavior therapy, medical treatment at the facility, Alcoholics Anonymous, 24-hour emergency mental health evaluations, treatment and referrals, he said.
Leaf said ongoing challenges for the department are lack of space for training, constant maintenance needs for the older facilities, hiring and keeping good candidates when nearby larger metropolitan areas offer higher pay, and lack of personnel that leaves a backlog of cold cases that Leaf wants to see solved.
Some random numbers for 2016:
*8,818 complaints were lodged in the jail
*kitchen staff prepared and served 88,237 meals at an average cost of $1.37 per person
*1,030 traffic accidents were investigated, 900 citations issued with 102 alcohol related.
*3,483 family and friends visited inmates
*1,185 drug screens were performed
*2,402 hours were donated by the Posse
*204 hours volunteered to 408 victims by the Victim’s Services Unit
*1,425 persons were fingerprinted for various reasons
*82 was the average number of inmates
*46 was the jail capacity when it was added to the sheriff’s office in 1976
*718 hours of training were taken by corrections officers
*2,560 persons were booked into jail
*6,760 hours were worked by staff
The Barry County Jail operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with a staff of a jail lieutenant, two sergeants and 14 corrections deputies who work 12 hour shifts.
For much more in the complete report visit the Barry County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, or at www.barrycounty.org. in the commissioner’s latest meeting packet.
The annual report was compiled by Administrative Aide Cheryl Hartman, Corrections Lieutenant Pete Nevins and Law Enforcement Lieutenant Jay Olejniczak.