Tuesday, January 15, 2013
2012 ANNUAL REPORT TO THE CITIZENS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY
As all years do, 2012 brought its own set of challenges and rewards to the Sheriff’s Office. I continue to be proud of our employees who show their commitment to our agency through their flexibility and hard work. Our officers responded to a total of 4,106 calls for service in 2012 - an average of more than 11 calls per day. Not only are our deputies busy, but according to the Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, Washington County once again had the highest clearance rate of crimes reported and solved in the State of Maine. Our K-9 partners continue to be valuable assets to the department, with Stryker certified for a range of narcotics detection and Dev certified for tracking and trail.
Assessing strengths within our organization means recognizing our partners. Our agency has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with every law enforcement establishment in the county. This MOU allows us to increase our eligibility for grants and Homeland Security funding. One of the grants we received in 2012 allowed us to purchase a new records management system which will be implemented in 2013. This system will be used by all law enforcement agencies in the county. In addition to purchasing this software, training will be provided to ensure effective use of the new system.
While partnerships within the law enforcement community are essential, we are also grateful for our neighborhood alliances. Our relationship with The Next Step Domestic Violence Project has continued to be one of successful collaboration. In 2012, we received the first annual Community Partner Award from the Next Step for “…increasing the safety of victims and survivors of domestic violence and holding perpetrators accountable.” The Washington County’s Sheriff’s Office continues to review emergency response plans in schools. We also visit schools as requested to talk about subjects such as bullying. We performed more than ten such visits last year, in addition to attending and presenting at career fairs held at UMM and the Lee Pellon center.
Unfortunately, telephone and mail scams persist in our areas, with the elderly being the most vulnerable. Prescription drug thefts also remain a problem. Please keep prescription medications locked up or hidden in your homes. The Sheriff’s Office welcomes and encourages phone calls and questions about these issues and any others which may arise.
Thank you to the citizens of Washington County for their support of the Sheriff’s Office. We appreciate your confidence and trust.
Donald G. Smith, Sheriff