During 2013, the Sheriff’s Office worked hard to meet goals around training, department cohesion, and community involvement. Our dedicated employees show their commitment to our agency and the community through their willingness to work with other agencies and the care with which they approach their work. I continue to be impressed by our phenomenal staff. Our officers responded to a total of 3,922 calls for service in 2013 - an average of more than 10 calls per day. The Uniform Crime Reporting statistics show that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office continues to rank among the top agencies in the state for reported crimes that were solved or cleared. Our K-9 partner Stryker has again proven his worth to the department by assisting deputies. Stryker is certified for a range of narcotics detection.
2013 brought changes to the administration within the department. Shawn Donahue, a former deputy and past chief of the Baileyville Police Department, joined us as Chief Deputy. Shawn has worked hard to bring our deputies together to increase their efficiency as a team. Richard Rolfe, a one-time MDEA agent and former patrol sergeant, has taken on the role of Jail Administrator. Despite funding restrictions from the state, Rich has worked with corrections officers to improve jail procedures. The state inspection of the jail this past spring went very well with a 98% approval rating.
Collaborative law enforcement has been aided by the new records management system which was put in place last summer. This database is used by all law enforcement agencies in the county. Several days of training were held to make sure that employees could use the system to its greatest advantages. Domestic violence continues to be an issue, not only in Washington County, but across the state. In 2013, I was appointed to the Domestic Violence Committee of the National Sheriff’s Association. This appointment, along with our continued successful partnership with The Next Step Domestic Violence Project, supports my conviction that our agency is involved at the ground level in tackling the important work of eliminating domestic violence. In 2013 I received the Next Step First Annual Community Partner Award.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office Board of Visitors continues to play a vital part in the success of the agency.
We couldn’t be more proud of those citizens who continue to amaze us with the concern that they have for others in their communities. There are networks, both formal and informal, for checking on the elderly and house-bound. During the last few weeks of 2013, there was widespread concern for the well-being of those without heat, power, and water. While we are always happy to perform well-checks, we also applaud those who go above and beyond to make sure their neighbors are safe and cared for.
Thank you to the citizens of Washington County for your support of the Sheriff’s Office. We appreciate your confidence and trust.
Sheriff Donnie Smith