The Columbia County Sheriff's Office Patrol Unit currently consists of five(5) sworn employees -- 4 deputies and a supervisor -- who cover the roughly 640 square miles of unincorporated county lands and the needs of nearly 50,000 residents who call our county "home." These deputies respond to emergency calls throughout the county, provide assistance to local police, fire and social service agencies upon request and work proactively to reduce crime in our communities. A small, but growing cadre of reserve deputies helps the regular patrol contingent with their duties as they are able.
In addition to responding to emergencies, in the last year, patrol unit deputies investigated a number of assaults and sexual crimes, participated in Major Crimes Team investigations, responded to many motor vehicle crashes on county roads and state highways, and helped the sheriff fulfill his responsibility to serve civil process papers throughout the county.
Even with the scarce number of employees allotted to the Sheriff to fulfill his mission with the patrol unit, the Sheriff's Office is committed to providing the best service possible with the limited resources we have. We often have only one (and many times not even one) deputy available at any one time to respond anywhere in the county to handle an emergency situation. Nevertheless the Sheriff is dedicated to making sure we do our best to prioritize our efforts and maximize our assets to make sure that we make the most of what we have.
Through our expanded volunteer outreach, we are increasing the number of routine calls that can be handled by trained volunteers who help our deputies by freeing them up to concentrate their efforts on the most urgent matters. At the same time, volunteer workers are increasing service to citizens and improving the sheriff's ability to monitor criminal activity throughout the county and more efficiently allocate resources.
It is the sheriff's goal to improve our customer service and to enhance the job satisfaction of our workforce in order to provide the best possible solutions to the problems we face in our county. No matter how many, or how few, we will always strive to be the best that we can be in addressing the issues that our near and dear to those we serve.
In the end, law enforcement -- particularly from the sheriff's perspective -- is all about finding the best possible solution to the problems that plague our society. The Sheriff's Patrol Division is a key ingredient to any success we hope to have in conserving the peace in Columbia County and increasing the likelihood that public safety problems in our county are solved by the most effective and efficient methods available to us.