Sheriff touts improvements, added services during his first year in office

Last updated: January 24. 2014 11:54AM - 1403 Views
Andy Simmons Staff Writer

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The Troup County Sheriff’s Office has completed their annual report for 2013 which marked a big first year for Sheriff James Woodruff and the department.

The report is a compilation of statistics within the department and its divisions covering many categories, such as cases assigned, arrests made, mileage recorded by different deputies and the number of inmates within the jail.

“It’s been a busy year,” Sheriff James Woodruff said.

“It’s been a good year. Everybody in this agency helped make that possible and I couldn’t have done it by myself, so I appreciate what they have done.”

The patrol division, which is composed of 26 deputies that patrol the county and respond to 911 calls, answered 32,350 calls and recorded over 3,000 incident reports.

The departments’ criminal investigations division has nine investigators, headed by Capt. Mike Caldwell, and work within the department whenever a call from the patrol division needs to be followed up.The division was assigned 3,319 cases and recovered over $400,000 worth of stolen property that was returned.

Sheriff Woodruff went into greater detail regarding the different types of incidents that occurred last year.

“We had 127 burglaries, 17 auto thefts, eight robberies, two kidnappings and four rapes,” Woodruff said.

In the jail division, there are 58 detention officers.The average inmate daily population is 390 people.The total amount of people booked into the jail last year was 6,859.

The transport/warrant division is in charge of taking inmates to and from prison, the courts and other jails.There are three people in that division who made 1,931 transports in 2013 and drove over 130,000 miles.

There are 20 people who work in the court division that logged over 8,335 hours, which included Superior Court, State Court, first appearance hearings, magistrate court and the various hearings within the Troup County court system. There were 18,736 inmates taken to court.When not in court, these deputies in this division go out and serve warrants and civil papers.They assisted the department by serving 193 warrants and 2,158 civil papers.

The juvenile division has three people working 97 cases that were assigned to them, making 38 arrests and they took over 217 juveniles to the various detention facilities or brought them back for juvenile court.

There is one school resource officer who had 26 different cases within the schools and made 18 arrests.

Capt. William Grizzard heads the narcotics division, which had two people working within that branch, but has grown to three. The division had 14 sale of marijuana cases, 25 possession of marijuana cases, 40 sale of methamphetamine cases and 32 possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute cases. There were 232 total arrests made within this division.

The department also had a lake dispatch division during the summer months, which patrolled over the different lake accesses. Two deputies were involved in that division and they received 494 dispatch calls.

But the annual report is more than just a bunch of number crunching, it’s also a reflection of some of the different projects that the sheriff’s office participated in.

In March, the department launched its remote video visitation, where those that wish to visit an inmate can now do it via webcam. In June, they began using the PTS computer system, which allowed for other agencies, such as the LaGrange Police Department, to see what the department was doing so that they could work together on various cases, a first for Troup County.The visitation center was also opened in August.

In September, the department did its very first firearm class for citizens of Troup County.

“We offer a four-hour class where they come here (the department) first and go over gun safety, then we take them up to the range and let them fire the weapon,” Woodruff said.

The department plans on doing another class when the weather gets a little warmer.

In December, the department was finally able to open pod C, which needed some remodeling done.

“We came into office and immediately jumped on it and started getting stuff done so we could move some inmates back there,” Woodruff said.

The department has also taken numerous steps in connecting with the community last year, such as rebooting their Facebook page and relaunching their website, as well as incorporating the Nixle alert system.

“In January, right after we took office, we brought Nixle back .It allows citizens to get alerts about things such as road closures, severe weather, stuff like that,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff gave kudos to those within the department for such a successful year.

“When I took office, one thing I said was that I’m going to surround myself with good people and I have, and everyone that works here really works as a team. No one person outshines the other person,” Woodruff said. “We’ve gotten a lot done as you can see and its been one team coming together.”

Woodruff also acknowledged the response from the community for the departments work.

“We’ve had a great response from them. Great support and I want to thank the citizens of Troup County for a good year and we’re looking forward to three more.”

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