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Annual Report

Madison County Sheriff’s Office Annual Report for 2009

As your Sheriff I wanted to take an opportunity to report on our first year and to set a precedent of giving an annual report for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.  This first report is for calendar year 2009 and is being presented in conjunction with the release of the State of Florida Uniform Crime Report for 2009.  The highlight of the Uniform Crime Report for Madison County is an overall decrease in crime of 9.5% during 2009.  This is the largest decrease in five years and is 3% better than the state level

The first order of business for the Sheriff’s Office in 2009 was the establishment of a Drug Task Force.  During 2009 Drug Task Force Deputies and Uniform Patrol Deputies were responsible for 68 drug related arrests.  These arrests accounted for more than 1.5 million dollars worth of drugs being taken off the streets of Madison County.  These arrests also accounted for more than $250,000.00  in seized drug money and assets.  Because the Sheriff’s Office is operating under a budget cut of $500,000.00 since the last administration, these seized assets have been our main source of capital outlay for vehicles and equipment.  During 2009 the Sheriff’s Office purchased seven vehicles, two narcotics dogs, software, investigative equipment, and supplemented a boat purchase with these seized drug assets.  The significance of these seizures has been translated into a zero capital outlay budget for the Sheriff’s Office for the current 2009-2010 budget year.

Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies made 449 arrests during 2009.  They also completed over 6,000 case reports and investigations.  These cases resulted in a clearance rate of 34.4%, which was improved by 7.2% over 2008.  Sheriff’s Deputies wrote 1088 traffic citations which included 11 DUI arrests and 91 seat belt violations.  There were 975 written warnings issued which included 688 for speeding.  There were 11,556 building checks and 25,766 documented contacts with the public.  Deputies served over 2500 civil papers which include domestic violence injunctions, subpoenas, summons, replevins, and evictions.  Deputies also investigated and conducted 190 Baker Acts and 18 juvenile detentions all of which require transporting to Tallahassee.

During 2009 the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division maintained, supervised, transported, fed, and cared for a daily average of 70 inmates.  This includes the booking into our jail of a total of 2078 inmates for 2009.  Corrections personnel fed over 71,000 meals to these inmates at a cost of 1.40 per meal for a total of $100,000.00.  There were also 110 sexual offender registrations completed by our corrections personnel.  These registrations are required for all sexual offenders moving into or residing in Madison County.  Each offender then has to register again each three to six months and be monitored by deputies at their places of residence.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center received 16,806 calls through the 911 emergency lines for 2009.  The 911 center also fielded over 50,000 administrative calls for the same period.  The 911 center is then tasked with dispatching these calls to all of the law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and emergency medical services in Madison County. “Crime Stoppers of Madison County” was also initiated during 2009 and resulted in over ten arrests from tips received in Madison County.

During 2009 the Madison County Sheriff’s Office actively pursued federal grants to enhance the law enforcement and public safety of Madison County.  Out of seven grant applications we received four grants which totaled over $350,000 awarded to the Sheriff’s Office.  These grants funded a part time deputy position for Greenville, provided two patrol cars, and helped fund the Sheriff’s Office boat.  However, the majority of the grant awards had to be designated for an upgrade to our radio communications equipment.  We have been under a federal mandate since 2002 to “Narrow Band” our law enforcement and fire radio frequencies.  This mandate is required before 2013 and had not been addressed.  This grant along with funds from traffic citations will now allow us to accomplish this mandate as well as upgrade antiquated radio equipment.

During 2009 the Madison County Sheriff’s Office participated in several community projects.  Some of these include the organization and presentation of an agriculture informational meeting held in conjunction with the Department of Transportation and the Florida Farm Bureau.  Hosting and organizing the 4th Annual Boys Ranch Golf Tournament which raised over $5,000.00 for the Florida Sheriff’s Boy’s Ranch. Partnering with the Madison County Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition. Participation in community events such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, “Lee Day,” “Four Freedom’s Day,” May the 20th Celebration, Opening Day for Madison and Greenville little league, community forums, as well as many others.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has been proactive against crime during 2009.  The results can be seen in the data collected as well as the encouragement we have received from our community.  However, I feel that the most successful part of the Sheriff’s Office is the dedicated and trained personnel who continue to give beyond what is asked of them.  This dedication was exemplified during the flood of 2009.  Deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office worked tirelessly during this time as well as putting themselves in harms way many times to effect rescues, patrol and monitor flooded homes, and to conduct a body recovery which took nine days.  Our Deputies and Reserve Deputies along with the Volunteer Fire Departments, FWC, FHP, Emergency Management, Red Cross, Churches, and many others in this community worked together to make a bad situation a lot better.

Finally, want to thank the people of Madison County for their support of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in 2009.  We are working hard to continue to earn your support as we go through 2010.

Ben Stewart

Sheriff of Madison County

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