301 W. Franklin Street
Taylorville, IL 62568
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FROM THE SHERIFF'S DESK VOL 1 # 11
by Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp
Early one morning last week, I was speaking to a group when someone asked the question:
How do you find the time to talk to groups like ours before your typical work day even begins?
I explained that meeting with local people, organizations, and groups is an essential activity for the modern Sheriff's Office and it continues throughout most days. Even after leaving the office at the end of the day, there are usually other events occurring which I also attend.
That question made me think that it might be a good idea to jot down some notes to illustrate what our department's scale of operations usually covers. Especially since all of this is in addition to the basic, fundamental, and otherwise normal range of our activities.
It didn't take long to see that I would need more paper.
The first notes cover an early meeting with personnel from the Illinois Department of Corrections. This is followed by a discussion with a head start teacher about participating in a session for preschoolers about uniforms and why police and sheriff's departments wear them.
Later I meet with my executive team to discuss some current problems and questions that we have been concentrating on. We also discuss any personnel matters that may have arisen. We finish with a status check on new and ongoing programs, rating our performance level against our expectations.
We finish in time for me to talk with the Christian County Prevention Coalition to draft a memo regarding our participation and support of the program aimed at reducing substance use and abuse by area youth.
When finished I stop for lunch. During lunch two customers come over and ask me about the, then upcoming, Operation Take Back Prescription Drug program. I give them a quick review of the date and time and our hopes for a strong performance. I thank them and remind them to be sure other family members are informed of the program. One of them says he will arrange to pick up and bring in prescription drugs from anyone who would have a difficult time doing so.
I return to the Sheriff's Office for an afternoon meeting with our drug task force officers. This is pretty much a daily occurrence. We discuss important issues and developments. When we feel that we are up to speed, a different discussion considers the status and timing of a planned training session.
Later in the afternoon I have another meeting with my executive team. This concerns issues relating to repairs needed at both the correctional center and court house so that it can be brought before the monthly Finance Committee, Building and Grounds Committee and the County Board meeting.
The following day I visit the court house to speak with other County Office holders, Court Security, and then monitor morning courtroom hearings, something which I try to do 2 or 3 times a week. When the hearings end, I go to Pana for lunch. The objective is to make appearances in various parts of the county and make myself available for all our citizens.
Other monthly meetings that I attend are with organizations that require our participation and efforts. These include the Central Illinois Association of Law Enforcement Executives or CIALEE, the Illinois State Police, and DEA. I host a monthly luncheon with all Chiefs of Police in the County to share information and discuss current problems in their communities. I really look forward to these meetings which has developed a great relationship with all Law Enforcement agencies in the county. I am also a member of the legislative committee of the Illinois Sheriffs Association and a board member of the West Central Law Enforcement Training Commission.
This is in addition to the monthly Christian County 911 Board and Executive Personnel meetings I attend.
And even when the workday ends, it doesn't always end. Citizens often call me any time of the day or night about something they have seen or observed and wish to report. And we all are happy to talk to them, because we have been urging our county residents to call us whenever they think there is a need to do so. That's one reason that community policing efforts and involvement have been increasing and improving. These people are recognizing us as their partners and taking ownership of the participation mission. This is leading to some very positive results which are growing stronger every month.
When I finish my notes, I am off to
a meeting with the PTA, a soup dinner at the South Fork Church and
then go watch the Junior High basketball game.
Yes, these are busy days. And when I meet with other Sheriff's Departments, and we talk about these things, I find I'm not unusual at all.
Department Activity for the last 5 months: