Since becoming your sheriff in 2009, We have made sure that the promise to provide leadership and professionalism has been kept. We have held the sheriffs office to a high standard and have been totally accountable to the people that we serve.
Today, almost 8 years later, I can report to you that all the hard work and dedication has certainly paid off. You have a sheriffs office that is capable, competent and willing to handle all the issues that we face here in Fannin County.
During my first term as your sheriff, the ground work was done and the foundation was laid to create the office that Fannin County should have. As we progressed into our second term in office, we were able to take the things that we had learned and continue to build on them. We learned how to utilize all the resources that we have available. We had also learned what the expectations and needs of the people were.
We strive to be open and transparent so that people have a better understanding of how the sheriffs office operates. In 2015, our office conducted the 4th Citizens Law Enforcement Academy which gives the participants total access to Sheriffs Office operations as well as an understanding of support agency functions. Since the implementation of this program, our office has instructed approximately 60 students in local law enforcement operations.
We have created and maintained an excellent training program. Currently our office has 4 certified instructors who provide 3 times the required training to all deputies annually. In addition to annual required training, our office has taken advantage of specialty training that is available through the Georgia Police Academy and outside agencies.
All deputies have been trained in Criminal Interdiction, which focuses on drug and other criminal activity which takes place on the highways of our state. This has proven to be very beneficial in assisting deputies to stop the flow of illegal drugs and other contraband into and through our county. During the last 7 years, considerable amounts of illegal drugs have been intercepted by trained deputies and have never reached their destination.
The Fannin County Sheriffs Office is also very pleased to welcome Vendy to our staff. Vendy is a 2 year old Belgium Shepard Canine who is trained in the detection of illegal drugs. Along with her handler, Sgt Jacob Pless, Vendy has already proven to be very successful in her field by detecting illegal drugs that would have otherwise been out of reach for deputies. You can expect to see great things from this team as they grow and learn together in the future.
Your sheriffs office currently operates a 6 man tactical team which trains monthly. The purpose of this team is to deal with high risk situations which require many hours of specialty training and allow our office to handle situations which would otherwise have to be delegated to larger outside agencies. The creation of this unit has proven to be very beneficial on more than one occasion in our county by allowing us to act immediately as opposed to spending time waiting for assistance.
Specialized training has been given in the area of impaired driving as well. All deputies are certified in Standardized Field Sobriety with the majority having Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving training. 1 deputy has completed training and become certified as a Drug Recognition Expert, which is an achievement made by only a few others in the state. Reducing impaired driving has been and will continue to be a top priority for this office.
Our School Resource Officer program has grown to incorporate an officer into every school in the county. Every School Resource Officer as well as all other deputies have had extensive training in the response to violent incidents in our schools. This training has been based on modern curriculum that incorporates Emergency Medical personnel into the initial response to effectively save time and lives in the time of a violent attack.
The Fannin County Detention Center continues to operate smoothly by maintaining a safe and clean environment. The cost of the detention center has been kept to a minimum and civil liability actions have been non-existent.
Our goal since the beginning has been to reduce crime and provide excellent service to the citizens while keeping costs low. By participating in Uniform Crime Reporting, your Sheriffs Office is able to show you and ourselves that since taking office in 2009, this administration has in fact reduced crime by a very substantial margin. Specifically, since 2009, this administration has cut burglaries by more than half, from 159 in 2009 to 75 in 2015. The arrest and clearance numbers also reflect an increase of almost double. Statistics like these paint the true picture that hard work and dedication by sheriffs office staff has paid off for the people of Fannin County.
The support and appreciation of the citizens of this county has been overwhelming and it has been my absolute pleasure to be able to serve as your sheriff. It is my hope that you have been satisfied with what my staff and I have been able to do in the last 2 terms and that you can continue to allow me to serve as your sheriff.