Cass Sheriff's Corner: 2016 a busy year for sheriff's office
Last year was another busy year for every division within the Cass County Sheriff's Office. As we work to complete our annual report that will be presented in the coming month to the Cass County Board of Commissioners and published on our website...
Last year was another busy year for every division within the Cass County Sheriff's Office. As we work to complete our annual report that will be presented in the coming month to the Cass County Board of Commissioners and published on our website, we see an increase in activities. While we are still tabulating numbers and stats and completing summaries, I would like to share a snapshot of some of our activities from 2016.
Our main method to document and monitor activity is by ICR Number (Initial Complaint Report); these are also sometimes referred to as CFS (Calls For Service). ICRs are a variety of calls for service that our dispatch center receives that requires some sort of action; whether it be from a sheriff's deputy, A local police department, an ambulance call or a fire call. These also count self-initiated responses from officers. Every form of activity that is completed is documented through an ICR number. In 2016, we processed 22,038 ICRs, which is about 650 more than last year. While we have not seen a significant increase in crime, we have increased the method for documenting activity and creating ICRs for self-initiated contacts and activities. Last year was our first full year of utilizing our new records keeping system (Zuercher Tech). There is not a direct correlation between crime rates increasing and ICRs increasing. We utilize the system to document a variety of officer and agency activity for quick access and new forms of record keeping for our agency and our partner police departments throughout the county.
We closely monitor and track our Cass County Detention Center operations. Bookings in 2016 were the highest the CCDC has seen on record with 2,519 bookings, although the average daily population fell from 79 in 2015 to 74 in 2016. We attribute that to judges sending more down from court to be booked and released, as well as low inmate numbers in the final quarter of 2016. Just after the first of the year, we were at a total of 59 inmates, numbers in which we haven't seen since May of 2014. The first part of the year, we were running in the 80-90 inmate range quite regularly. CCDC is currently in the process of resurrecting programming that is offered. With the help of the Cass County Chaplaincy Initiative, we are now offering weekly jail ministry and hope to build upon that in the coming months. The goal is to have Alcoholics Anonymous, Addictions Class, FATHER Project, Pre-Release Planning and possibly Adult Based Education up and running by year's end.
CCDC continues to offer support to the community through our active STS Program. This program offers assistance with manual labor to those in need and in the process saves housing costs by earned jail credit and accounts for thousands in paid court fines. STS crew members worked 8,403 combined hours at a rate equivalent to approximately $100,000 worth of projects completed.
Another trend that we see continuing to be high is permit to purchase and carry firearms applications. In 2016, 372 purchase permits were issued (these expire yearly) and 428 permits to carry were issued. Permits to carry were up significantly, approximately 67 more were issued than in 2015. Once issued the Permits to Carry are valid for five years.
Our civil process division had similar numbers as in 2015 with some decreases, mainly due to less foreclosure and sheriff sales. We served 1,416 civil processes, completing 35 mortgage foreclosure sales, which is down from 68 in 2015. We continue to see an increase in Orders For Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders, as well as other court orders. An increase in calls increases investigations and court time and leads to additional court subpoenas to be served.
The patrol division continues to be very busy. I am proud of the work and accomplishments when seeing reports, arrests and looking at crime clearance rates. Deputies continue to maintain an excellent countywide response time to emergency calls and spend a significant amount of time investigating and following up on these calls. Our Investigations Division has processed and investigated several burglary and drug cases. Our investigators meet with child protection teams daily to review intakes and work closely with intake workers and social workers investigating allegations of abuse and maltreatment. Deputies completed random predatory offender checks on between 110-121 Level Unassigned, 1, 2, and 3 offenders living in our county. Our deputies also attend city and township meetings, as well as community and school events and functions, helping to promote our community policing platform within our agency. Sheriff Outreach days were held, moving our office to other areas in the county for a few hours each month giving citizens the opportunity to visit with staff from the Sheriff's Office and talk about public safety and other concerns in their neighborhood.
Cass County experienced a number of severe weather incidents in 2016, including several strong storms in the summer of 2016. Our staff spent a considerable about of time assisting township and communities with storm related cleanup tasks and responding to storm related emergencies. Our Emergency Management division successfully completed applications for State Aid for Disaster areas parenting with several townships and cities to receive the state aid.
This is just a snapshot of activities within the Sheriff's Office in the past year. A full copy of our 2016 Annual Report will be available on our website at www.casssheriff.com .
Once again, we are privileged and grateful to have served the residents and visitors of Cass County in 2016 and years passed and we are committed to providing law enforcement and public safety needs to our communities in 2017 and beyond! In 2012, using grant funds we received from the George W. Neilson Foundation for the purchase of a replacement K-9, we were able to obtain Yankee, a 2-year-old German Shepherd. Yankee and Deputy Conner are excited to continue to provide K-9 service to the citizens and visitors of Cass County. During Portos' seven and-a-half years of service with Cass County, he located over 20 pounds of narcotics and was involved in the arrest and apprehension of over 150 suspects.
If you have specific questions that you would like answered in this column or in person, please feel free to contact me anytime using one of the following methods: by email to firstname.lastname@example.org ; by phone at 218-547-1424 or 800-450-2677; or by mail or in person at the Cass County Sheriff's Office, 303 Minnesota Ave. W, P.O. Box 1119, Walker, MN, 56484.