Additional Deputy Needed
In December of 2016 I approached the Palo Alto County Supervisors with a request to hire an additional Deputy to the Sheriff’s Office staff. This additional Deputy would have increased the number of Officers from 8 to 9 and would have increased our ability to serve the citizens of Palo Alto County and all those visiting/passing through on a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year basis. The thought process behind this request was from looking at our statistical data over the past several years. The Sheriff’s Office has become increasingly more active over those years and the additional Deputy was requested to continue to provide the level of law enforcement and other responsibilities legally placed upon a Sheriff’s Office that people have become accustom to.
The statistical data of the Uniform Crime Report for 2016; as published by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, is interesting to say the least. In comparing Palo Alto County to the 7 counties that border us, we were 3rd in number of incidents, but lead in number of arrests and index crimes. Index crimes are comprised of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson. I am not happy to be number 1 in these categories, but I am proud to say the Sheriff’s Office accumulated these stats while having nearly the lowest number of Deputies. All the surrounding counties have 1, 2, or 5 more Deputies other than Pocahontas which has one fewer.
This request for an additional Deputy was denied and the level of staffing at the Sheriff’s Office remained at 8.
This year, 2017, has been another active year for the Sheriff’s Office. Statistical data from the past 12 months continues to alarm me and again I feel the duty to request another Deputy be added to the Sheriff’s Office staff. The number of arrests and incidents continue to climb as does the serious nature of each. The continued elevated activity of the Sheriff’s Office, coupled with new requests for services, such as providing security services at court hearings, trials and for various city and county meetings and with the need for elevated drug investigations, is very taxing on current staffing levels. This is especially alarming considering we have one Deputy on duty 41% of the time.
If you are reading this article, I am sure you are well aware of the news releases posted to our website, printed in the paper or heard on the radio during the past year and will agree that is has been quite active. I often hear from people, after reading our Facebook post or seeing the news articles in the paper, that we had a busy week. I agree with those folks but I also tell them that most of our activity is done behind the scenes and without any news release and without their knowledge. There are many responsibilities, requirements and duties placed upon a Sheriff’s Office that do not generate a press clipping.
As I eluded to above, I presented a request to the Board of Supervisor’s to add another Deputy to the Sheriff’s Office. This will bring our total law enforcement personnel to 9, covering the county and serving all of you 24 hours of every day. This request was made on November 21st at 8:30 a.m. in the basement of the Palo Alto County Courthouse. No action was taken on that request, but it will be addressed at a future date.
I would appreciate your support with this request. Please contact your Supervisor or if you wish to send an email to me I will provide it, good or bad, to the Board. I can be reached at email@example.com
Thank you for your time, continued support and ability to serve YOU!
Sheriff Lynn J Schultes