UNION COUNTY The year 2019 was a busy and challenging one for the Union County Sheriffs Office which earlier this month honored its employees at its Annual Breakfast/Awards Banquet during which Sheriff David Taylor reviewed the year and those challenges as well as a continuing problem his office faces.
The banquet was held on Wednesday, January 8, and the employees of the Sheriffs Office were treated by Taylor to breakfast in recognition of their hard work and dedication during 2019.
As in previous years, awards were presented to Sheriffs Office personnel who excelled during the preceding year. Those receiving awards for excelling in the performance of their duties in 2019 were:
Major John Sherfield and Dr. John Flood Special Response Team Award
Deputy Kristen Spencer Deputy of the Year
Investigator Roxie Belue Investigator of the Year
911 Dispatchers Robert Garner and Nikia Brannon Dispatchers of the Year
A Year In Review
Like its predecessors, this years banquet was also a time for taking stock of the previous year, and Taylor did just that, giving a detailed presentation of A Year in Review.
Violence, including violence involving law enforcement personnel, is something all law enforcement agencies must deal with as they serve and protect their respective communities and that was the case in 2019 for the Sheriffs Office which had to deal with two officer involved shootings. In his remarks, Taylor said that the number of officer involved shootings in 2019 was unprecedented for his office, but is a reflection of the realities of modern day society.
This is a sign of the times we are living in today, Taylor said. I cannot remember ever having this to happen in the history of Union County.
The investigation of crime is one of the major responsibilities of law enforcement agencies and there was plenty for the Sheriffs Office to investigate in 2019, just not quite as much as in 2018.
Taylor said that the number of cases assigned to investigators of the Sheriffs Office declined slightly from 730 in 2018 to 705 in 2019.
Though the number of cases needing to be investigated declined between 2018 and 2019, Taylor reported that the Sheriffs Office saw a significant increase when it came to illegal drugs with 7,514 grams of Methamphetamine seized in 2019 compared to 252 grams in 2018. The amount of Heroin seized by the Sheriffs Office also increased, going from 9 grams seized in 2018 to 49 grams seized in 2019.
The amount of overall crime is symbolic to the amount of drug use in the county, Taylor said.
2019 was also a challenging time for the special units of the Sheriff Office: the Special Response Team (SRT) and Bloodhound Unit and K-9 Drug Unit and their deployments during the year.
Taylor the SRT was deployed 10 times in 2019 compared to 7 in 2018 and he said he believes that in the future the SRT will grow in personnel and call-for-service due to the volatile times we are living in.
As for the Bloodhound Unit, Taylor said that in 2019 it was deployed 37 times, up two from 35 deployments in 2018.
These units stay extremely busy throughout the year, Taylor said. If they are not out running calls then they are training.
Of the 37 deployments in 2019, Taylor said 23 resulted in successful captures compared to 17 in 2018. In addition, Taylor said the Bloodhound Unit also recovered 4 weapons and seized $10,000 in currency in 2019.
Concerning the K-9 Drug Unit, Taylor said it was only deployed 14 times in 2019 compared to 51 in 2018. He said this was due to the handler assigned to the unit leaving in early 2019 and the Sheriffs Office having to train and certify another deputy to take over.
Civil Papers And Arrest Warrants
The year also saw an increase in Civil Papers and Arrest Warrants.
In 2019, we served 3,599 Civil Papers versus only 3,520 in 2018 while warrants were up slightly, Taylor said. In 2019, we served 1,828 Arrest Warrants compared to 1,646 in 2018.
While he praised the efforts of all of his deputies for their work serving those Civil Papers and Arrest Warrants, Taylor singled out Deputy Russell Roark for special praise.
Deputy Roark does an outstanding job serving papers for the Sheriffs Office, Taylor said. His knowledge of people helps because he is able to connect with them and locate people that otherwise dont want to be found.
The Union County Emergency Services/911 Dispatch Center is also part of the Union County Sheriffs Office and 2019 was a very busy year for it as well even though, as Taylor pointed out, the actual number of calls and dispatches were down slightly from 2018.
In total, we dispatched 33,533 calls for the Sheriffs Office, City Public Safety, EMS, Union County Fire, and Highway Patrol, Taylor said. These numbers were down from 36,204 in 2018.
Our dispatchers answered a total of 69,927 calls through the 911/Administration lines last year, he said. During 2018 they answered 73,392 calls.
Taylor concluded the program by thanking the personnel of the departments of his office for all their hard work and dedication to the citizens of Union County, but also pointed out that his office is having trouble retaining trained personnel.
I know that each of you are overworked and underpaid and hopefully this will be addressed by county council in the near future, Taylor said. We are constantly losing trained personnel to other agencies due to low pay.
The banquet was then closed with a prayer offered by Union County Councilman David Sinclair and Taylor offered his best wishes to all those in attendance.
Photo courtesy of the Union County Sheriffs Office Union County Sheriff David Taylor presents Investigator Roxie Belue with the Investigator of the Year Award for 2019. Belue was one of several Sheriffs Office employees to receive awards for their service in 2019 at the Sheriffs Offices Annual Breakfast/Awards Banquet held January 8.
Photo courtesy of the Union County Sheriffs Office Union County Sheriff David Taylor presents 911 Dispatcher Robert Garner with the Dispatcher of the Year Award for 2019. Garner was one of several Sheriffs Office employees to receive awards for their service in 2019 at the Sheriffs Offices Annual Breakfast/Awards Banquet held January 8.
Photo courtesy of the Union County Sheriffs Office Union County Sheriffs Office Investigator Scott Coffer (left) presents Major John Sherfield (right) with the Special Response Team Award for 2019. Sherfield was one of several Sheriffs Office employees to receive awards for their service in 2019 at the Sheriffs Offices Annual Breakfast/Awards Banquet held January 8. Dr. John Flood, a volunteer, was also honored with the Special Response Team Award but was unable to attend the banquet.
Photo courtesy of the Union County Sheriffs Office Union County Sheriff David Taylor presents Deputy Kristen Spencer with the Deputy of the Year Award for 2019. Spencer was one of several Sheriffs Office employees to receive awards for their service in 2019 at the Sheriffs Offices Annual Breakfast/Awards Banquet held January 8.
Photo courtesy of the Union County Sheriffs Office Union County Sheriff David Taylor presents 911 Dispatcher Nikia Brannon with the Dispatcher of the Year Award for 2019. Brannon was one of several Sheriffs Office employees to receive awards for their service in 2019 at the Sheriffs Offices Annual Breakfast/Awards Banquet held January 8.
UCSO employees recognized; Sheriff reviews 2019
This story courtesy of the Union County Sheriffs Office.
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Hard work and dedication honored - Union Daily Times
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