GRUNDY COUNTY SHERIFF
It has been a year since this administration took the reins of the sheriff’s office. Like every sheriff before me, I walked into that office knowing I would be faced with challenges, changes, and choices. To be frank, some of those have been absolutely overwhelming, but as the days turned into weeks, the weeks months, and the months a year I have been able to see “the jail” become the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office. While I realize this is just the first year, I can attest the progress that has been made far surpasses my expectations and the next year’s looks even more promising.
The toughest challenge I have faced is actually two-fold. First, changing the mindset of the employees. The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office has some great people who work there. They definitely do it because they love job and community and not because of pay, however having just come through an election, employees were skittish, worried, and worn out. There would be some new expectations. Some employees had no problem making the transition and others could not.
The second challenge was closing the disconnect that existed between the community and law enforcement. I want GCSO to be a service-oriented agency. I expect deputies to respect our citizens and be good to people as long as they will let them. I also expect them to be fair but firm and if the need to take action arises, take action. I believe we have made great strides with both challenges.
The first thing I changed was the installation of a commissary and health services contract. The load a correctional officer has to carry is incredible, much less having these duties to worry about. Second, access to the evidence room and handling of evidence was limited to an evidence custodian and his back up. He was sent to IAPE Course for evidence custodians so that we can maintain the integrity of our cases. We changed shifts so that everyone could have some weekend time off. The command structure was made very simple.
Finally, there was some wondering as to whether or not everyone would be terminated at the beginning of this administration. Some stayed, some left, and just a few were let go. We have tried diligently to keep as many employees that wanted to work for this administration. Grundy County has some good employees. Employees worth keeping, employees worth investing in. The county also chose to build a detention center. It was a right and needful choice and a choice that will serve this county well.
As we progress into the second year, we continue to need your patience, prayers, and partnerships. This county is a better place to live today than it was yesterday.
n closing, there were three words the Apostle Paul used that kept him pressing on every day, “I am persuaded.” Like Paul, I too am persuaded.