Sheriff Morse releases year-end report
Statistically, Jackson County is one of the safest counties surrounding the capital city, according to an annual report of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
“Jackson County has the lowest crime index rate of any county surrounding Shawnee County with the exception of Wabaunsee County. Although, Jackson County maintains the lowest violent crime rating of any county surrounding Topeka,” Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse told county commissioners – Janet Zwontizer, Bill Elmer and Rob Ladner - Monday. Ladner was sworn-in at noon by Jackson County Clerk Kathy Mick.
Morse and Undersheriff Darrel Chapman presented an annual report that highlighted improvements to both the sheriff’s office and the county jail in 2014. The report also outlined the variety of services provided by the office in the past year.
“We have a lot of good people working really hard,” Morse said. “We’re making progress. We’re not just sitting around eating doughnuts.”
In 2014, the communication center handled 20,317 incidents or calls for service, compared to 18,940 from the previous year. A total of 3,147 emergency calls (911) were placed.
This past year, the patrol division at the sheriff’s office:
* Served or attempted to serve 2,854 pieces of civil process for the district court.
* Served or attempted to serve 788 warrants.
* Investigated 265 non-injury accidents and 91 injury accidents.
* Performed 3,551 traffic stops and 4,323 area checks.
* Investigated 216 thefts.
* Responded to 150 fights, 63 assaults and 428 animal calls.
* Assisted 955 citizens.
* Investigated 421 suspicious person reports.
* Responded to 109 juvenile complaints and 24 reports of sex offenses.
* Served 22 search warrants.
* Assisted other agencies 370 times, including the Holton Police Department and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Police Department.
* Responded to 110 disturbance calls, 567 911 hang up calls and 626 traffic problems.
“We try to be proactive to deter crime,” Morse said.
In 2014, the sheriff’s office supervised 39 registered offenders (28 sex offenders, six drug offenders and five violent offenders). The sheriff’s office filed two cases on offenders who failed to register, which resulted in two convictions. All offenders in the county are currently compliant, according to the report.
Since the sheriff’s office is staffed with only two full-time detectives, Morse and his staff established the JASO Crime Scene Unit in 2014 with allows deputies who have been trained in crime scene processing, interviewing and interrogations to assist investigators with a major crime scene.
“This special unit allows the investigation unit to expand temporarily from two personnel to nine,” Morse said. “This gives our investigators more support.”
Kansas’ Second Judicial District includes Jackson, Jefferson, Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee counties. According to the sheriff’s report, 212 felony cases were filed by Jackson County in district court last year, compared to 101 filed by Jefferson, 137 by Pottawatomie and 46 by Wabaunsee counties.
Jackson County also led the district in the number of cases filed for DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs), driving while suspended and child in need of care.
“These statistics were accomplished by the hard work of law enforcement and an aggressive county attorney,” Morse said.
According to the report, more than $700,000 in revenue was generated by the Jackson County Jail in 2014 and several major projects were completed, including renovating the jail’s kitchen (which only had one working oven) and installing a new ceiling and flooring to several areas of the jail.
Updates were also made to the security camera system at the jail and a sally-port (two-door) system was installed to increase security this past year.
To reduce the workload on correction officers, a video visitation system was installed at the jail at no cost to the county. The new system allows visitors to talk with someone at the jail via an Internet connection. The new system also expanded visiting hours for inmates, which were previously just Saturdays and Sundays.
A total of 1,471 people were booked into the Jackson County Jail in 2014, which is a seven percent increase from 2013. The jail held inmates for the United States Marshal Service in Topeka, Nemaha County, Kickapoo Nation and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.
“We’re hoping to do a lot more next year,” Morse said.
The sheriff’s office includes Morse, Chapman, two detectives, a jail captain, two detectives, 11 full-time patrol deputies, five part-time deputies, one full-time court security deputy, one part-time court security deputy, one support service deputy, eight dispatchers, 15 corrections officers, one administrative assistant and one part-time administrative assistant. The agency also has one reserve deputy.
The full report can be viewed by clicking the pdf link below.