Dodge County Board’s Exec Committee Hears Sheriff’s Department Audit

(Juneau) The Dodge County Board’s Executive Committee reviewed the draft report of an operational analysis of the sheriff’s office Tuesday. Last December, the county board hired Matrix Consulting Group of California to review several different areas including an evaluation of budgeting and financial procedures. The study also looked at staffing levels; evaluated service contracts such as food, medical and US Marshal Holds; and developed best practice policies. President Richard Brady provided several recommendations in his initial report including a transition from an eight-hour work shift for jail staff to 12-hours. Brady says this change provides more time-off and is a more attractive model for employee retention. He also noted that there is an inadequate level of supervision in the jail. He says staff needs to be increased by four in order to ensure operations are effectively managed and running smoothly.

The draft report touched on patrol staffing which indicated, based on workloads and characteristics of the county, that current levels are appropriate. Brady says despite the county’s size, deputy response times are excellent. He says this means while the coverage area is rather large, deputies are deployed to locations where calls tend to occur.

Brady also recommends moving to a 12-hour shift schedule for patrol as well as converting the crash investigation sergeant to full time and to increase patrol staffing by adding a sergeant position. The draft report gave a very positive review to communications and administration with low turnover numbers. Brady says he did come across an issue with the regional-drug task force. He says the entity is (quote) “not really” a regional-task force as currently established and there needs to be more concerted efforts to collaborate with other local law enforcement agencies. Brady says one-way smaller agencies could be more involved is increasing their say in operations and targeting of the drug-task force as well as agreeing on a time that is appropriate for them.

Brady suggested modeling the task force after Jefferson County that could better allocate costs and workloads proportionately to population. He says supervision of the unit is vital and recommends converting a detective’s position to a sergeant to oversee the task force; a move that has been championed by Sheriff Dale Schmidt. Matrix Consulting will review additional data and compile the final report that will be presented to the full county board during their August 20th meeting.