Photo by Wendy Davis

Iroquois County Sheriff Derek Hagen talks about the hiring of two new deputies at Wednesday’s county board committee meeting.

The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department is two deputies closer to the number it had on patrol 10 years ago.

Sheriff Derek Hagen updated the Iroquois County Board Judicial and Public Safety Committee on his department’s staffing Wednesday afternoon.

As he was granted money in the FY20 budget to hire, two additional deputies were hired from the jail: Brock Myers and Josh Snyder.

He said it’s good to hire deputies who have experience working at the jail. “Ninety percent of the time we’re working with the same 10 percent of the population. They have a head start in knowing who the people are and who the problems are.”

They are to start the 14-week academy Jan. 13, and then it’ll be eight weeks of field training. By July they should be driving on their own.

Hagen said the way it’s been is there were seven hours a day where there was just one deputy on duty. This will cut that to three hours.

Since two correctional officers were hired on as deputies, two needed to be hired to replace them. He said one individual has started and another will begin April 27.

Hagen gave his department’s numbers for the year.

At 9,239 there was a 2.3 percent increase in calls for service over 2018.

The number of prisoners booked in in 2019 decreased: 1.8 percent for adults ending the year at 654, 59 percent for juveniles ending the year at 13.

The average daily population increased 24 percent, the average being 31, and the average length of stay was 23 days, where it was 21 days in 2018. He said costs increase when prisoners stay longer.

There was a 38 percent increase in the number of inmates transported to the department of corrections, 33, and there was a 31 percent increase in the number of inmates picked up at other counties, 47. This means a lot of fuel is used and more wear is done on the department’s vehicles.

There were fewer civil processes served, 1,275, a 16 percent decrease. He said attorneys are opting to do more of these electronically. There were about the same number of tow reports, 70, and accident reports, 256. As for offense reports, there were 466 in 2019 and there were 439 in 2018.

Coroner Bill Cheatum told the committee he’s set to go to a winter conference at the end of January for continuing education.

He told the committee he saw 10 overdoses in 2019, “the highest Iroquois County has had. We’ll see what 2020 brings.” This number is only those who died in Iroquois County; it doesn’t take into account those who were transported to a hospital out of county and died at hospital.

Probation supervisor Barb King gave her department’s report. She noted, the number of adults and juvenile cases loads are down from 2017 and 2018. “There are fewer people but there’s more work put into them,” she said, as there are more people with problems like addiction and mental health issues. Public service work has increased, and this is due to the required public service work for those placed as first time offenders.

King said, “We do a lot of social services work” as part of their job. She said probation staff not just checks on individuals to make sure they’re following the court’s rules, but they’re also there for issues like working with people on budgeting their money to make sure their fines are paid.

For December in the adult case load, there were three new admissions with a total general caseload of 195. There was just one client for pretrial services.

In specialized court there were 21 sex offender clients and seven domestic violence clients. There were 33 administrative active and two inactive. Two cases were closed.

Four investigation reports were done. One individual was on GPS/alcohol monitoring.

For public service work, two clients were added with 540 hours added. One client completed work and 100 hours were completed. There’s 9,160 hours remaining.

In the juvenile caseload there was one new admission taking the total to 40 general caseload clients. Eighteen are pretrial pending/referral cases. Two cases were closed.

Four investigations were done.

There was one detention screening completed and two juveniles were detained, one in detention as of Dec. 25. There were 32 days used in the Vermilion County Youth Detention Center.

As for public service work, one client was added with 24 hours added. One client completed work, and 24 hours were completed. There are 840 hours remaining.

For the department monthly totals, there were three urinalysis and blood alcohol contents test done.

In the ETSB report, 9-1-1 director Eric Raymond gave the month of December’s numbers.

The total telecommunicator call out were 1,976: 1,364 police, 91 fire, 350 ambulance, 143 change of quarters, 17, coroner, 11 animal control.

There were 907 9-1-1 calls and 3,996 non emergency calls. Telecommunicators worked 153 hours of overtime and Raymond worked no hours on the radio.

For the year the total calls were 24,813, with the comparison to 2018: 17,602 police, up more than a 1,000 calls; 1,363 fire, down 20 calls, 3,890 ambulance, down 500 calls; 1,529 change of quarters, down 600 calls, 253 coroner, down four calls, 175 animal control, up 60 call.

There were 11,678 9-1-1 calls and 50,131 non emergency calls, which were about the same from 2018.

Raymond told the committee members there is a tentative agreement in contract negotiations between the county board negotiations committee and the telecommunicators union. There could be a contract for the full county board to vote on at its Tuesday meeting.

In circuit clerk Lisa Hines’ report, a total of $70,305.70 was disbursed from the office of the circuit clerk in December: $41,676.48 was paid to the county and $28,629.22 was paid to others.

Credit collections took in $6,746.31 and the state comptroller gave over $329.29, taking the totals to $72,101.32 and $50,156.63, respectively.