2013 was a great year for the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office. One of our initiatives that garnered the most publicity was the airing of an episode of “Beyond Scared Straight” on the A&E network. I genuinely appreciated the chance afforded us by Arnold Shapiro Productions to showcase one of the programs that we use to help the youth of our community. I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the other initiatives that the Sheriff’s Office undertook during 2013 to serve you and keep you safe.
Our deputies on the road were busy in 2013. Altogether, the Sheriff’s Office served 7,286 criminal warrants and 20,576 civil papers. Deputies also conducted 1,086 evictions, assisted 465 motorists, conducted 693 escorts and completed 23,240 security checks of homes, churches, and businesses.
We were very busy at the Judicial Building as well. 138,471 visitors came into the Judicial Building during 2013, from which 2,587 items of contraband were taken. 169 people were booked at the Sheriff’s Office and 1,756 others were fingerprinted for other reasons, such as for background checks or firearms permit applications. We processed 3,326 bonds and 3,392 traffic citations.
The courtrooms were busy, both at the Judicial Building and at the jail. We provided deputies and bailiffs to maintain security during 18,212 court proceedings at the Judicial Building and 14,407 at the jail.
Our investigation unit was short-staffed part of the year, but still managed to handle 425 new cases. 40 new sex offenders were registered, bringing the total number of managed sex offenders to 339. Our AFIS unit examined 11,134 latent fingerprints and 3,666 pieces of evidence, making 306 identifications and generating 1,140 forensic reports.
The jail was jumping as well, processing 9,393 into and 9,494 out of jail. We also conducted 2,515 EMIT (urine) tests and 6,079 background checks.
During this time, our staff maintained a high level of training, receiving mandatory instruction in firearms, defensive tactics, use of force, CPR & first aid, legal updates and other classes. In all, our training division provided 847 hours of current, relevant training. Many other agencies took advantage of the opportunity and attended training sessions offered by our training division. In all 2,118 officers and deputies were trained.
Although the “Beyond Scared Straight” program received the most attention, the Sheriff’s Office has been busy on many fronts. Even in the area of youth intervention, we conducted more than 100 interventions that were not televised, taught 132 character education classes in local schools and spoke at 59 events throughout the year.
Yes, 2013 was a good year. We were very busy and productive, and look forward to another good year ahead. If you have any concerns or would like more information about the mission and efforts of the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, please feel free to contact us at (229) 430-6508 or (229) 431-3259. You may also contact us at www.doughertysheriff.com or at our Facebook page. Thank you for your support and may God bless!
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. Sproul has been employed with the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office since 1982 and can be reached at (229) 430-6508.