Delaware County’s sheriff said his goal for 2016 is making the Sheriff’s Office one of the finest in the state.
Looking ahead, Sheriff Russell Martin — in an interview Tuesday — said much remains to be done to meet that goal but said the Sheriff’s Office has changed a lot since he took office in 2012.
“We’ve identified what we need to do and what we need to improve on,” Martin said.
Martin said the biggest goal is improving training and better equipping the department’s leaders.
“2016 will be the year of the supervisor,” Martin said.
Martin said he would be promoting more sergeants in both the field and at the Delaware County Jail to “continue to build a good core group of sergeants” to help better manage the deputies employed by the Sheriff’s Office.
Martin said supervisors will conduct training and oversee operations to ensure that deputies are performing their duties effectively and efficiently.
Becoming more efficient is another big goal for the Sheriff’s Office, Martin said, and one of the biggest detractors from that goal is false alarm calls.
“False alarms costs us about $125,000 in hours wasted, not even taking into account fuel costs,” Martin said. Ninety-nine percent of burglary calls received in 2015 were false alarms, he said.
Martin said the Sheriff’s Office would be taking steps to reduce the number of false alarms by coordinating with alarm companies to better identify false alarms and working with homeowners to better educate them about alarm systems.
Martin said the county jail presents a unique set of problems.
“We are still working on the ongoing challenge of the drug-addicted and mentally ill at the Delaware County Jail,” Martin said. The jail now has a full-time psychiatrist to work with inmates suffering from mental illness and helping them to better re-assimilate into society, he said.
The office also reports that it is working to increase and improve its jail programming, including a “Father Factor” program which aims to empower men to be better fathers.
Overall, Martin said the Sheriff’s Office will continue to innovate and improve to better serve the county.
“It’s important that people know that Delaware County is still a great place to raise a family,” Martin said.
Part of that greatness, according to Martin, is how well all the county law enforcement agencies work together.
“We are all serving the same people,” Martin said. “We share resources, training and experts.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.