Sheriff's Office had a busy 2010

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

I wanted to take this opportunity to share the accomplishments and productivity of the Sheriff's Office during 2010. It was a difficult year economically, but the employees of the Sheriff's Office have really stepped up and showed a level of determination and dedication that has made me very proud.

In 2009, the Sheriff's Office served just over 6,400 criminal warrants, which is a very respectable number. In 2010 however, we were able to increase that to just over 8,400. That is an increase of over 30 percent and an average of 23 warrants per day, seven days per week, all year. The number of civil papers served totaled over 2,000 per month. That's more than 24,000 for the year.

We also worked over 300 criminal investigations, managed over 272 registered sex offenders and electronically monitored one predator, worked over 1,600 identification cases through our AFIS unit, and made nearly 1,000 escorts to the Liberty House and similar facilities. We have conducted over 14,000 security checks on local homes, businesses and churches, and conducted more than 4,700 criminal background checks.

During all of this, our deputies still patrolled, made traffic stops, handled calls for service, and provided back-up to both the Albany Police and Dougherty County Police Departments.

Sheriff's Deputies taught over 90 character education programs (C.H.A.M.P.S., G.R.E.A.T., etc.) in the local schools, and conducted nearly 50 interventions with troubled youths.

At the Judicial Building, the Sheriff's Office maintained the security of over 124,000 visitors, confiscating over 3,000 weapons or items of contraband in the process, and maintained security in the Courts at both the Judicial Building and the Jail during more than 30,000 cases.

At the Jail, we booked in over 9,300 inmates and had nearly 95,000 visitors. Detention staff managed an inmate population that hovered at nearly 900 inmates for most of the year. We also administered over 26,000 urinalysis drug tests.

The Sheriff's Office Training Division provided over 850 hours of training, not only to our own staff but to law enforcement agencies from across Southwest Georgia. Over 1,900 officers and deputies were trained.

Yes, the Sheriff's Office has had an incredible year. Sadly, we have also had to endure furloughs in the form of five unpaid holidays. The fact that my staff has performed so well in the face of stagnant pay for the past several years, and reduced pay this year, is a testament to their dedication and desire to serve this community. I hope that you honor and respect them as much as I do.

Sheriff Kevin Sproul is a longtime resident of Dougherty County. He is a graduate of Albany High School, Darton College and LaGrange College of Albany. proul has been employed with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office for more than 28 years and can be reached at (229) 430-6508.