Sheriff Cole Issues Quarterly Report
Pine County Sheriff’s Office Quarterly Update
By Sheriff Robin Cole
As Pine County Sheriff, I write a quarterly column to update residents on current events within the Sheriff’s Office. We have now completed the fourth quarter of 2011.
In the four quarters of 2011 or 100 % of the year, the Sheriff’s Office budget as a whole came in with a net expenditure of approximately 101%. Our two major areas of concern from the 2011 budget are fuel and vehicle maintenance costs. Combined, these two line items represented $100,000.00 in unbudgeted expense. For 2012, I have directed additional measures to control fuel cost and we will field 9 new squad cars, resolving heavy maintenance issues.
I should also note that the Sheriff’s Office still has outstanding receivables of approximately $70,000.00, and the final 2011 budget numbers will be produced in March of 2012.
During the fourth quarter, work continued on implementation of the new 800 MHz radio network that will modernize our two-way radio system. Through tight fiduciary measures and grant management, the Sheriff’s Office has recouped over $333,000.00 in grant funds for this project. These savings have allowed funds to purchase a new emergency paging system for all of Pine County. This system will insure trust worthy paging of fire fighters and emergency medical technicians for the next 30 years.
After several months of discussions, the Cities of Pine City, Hinckley, and Sandstone agreed to enter into three year policing contracts. These contracts provide dedicated Deputies to service their communities. This pay for service concept, allows the Cities to tailor and address their policing needs, without having to incur the substantial cost of operating their own police departments. Over the next three years, these contracts provide over 1.3 million dollars in extra police service to the most populated areas of our county.
In early December, The East Central Violent Offender and Drug Task Force was officially signed into existence. This task force allows official cooperation between Pine, Chisago, and Isanti Counties when conducting drug investigations.
In 2011, the PCSO Dispatch Center received a total of 23,377 calls that required a police, fire or ambulance response. These calls for assistance include an increase of 3,058 calls from the 2010 call totals.
For 2012, the county Board approved the overall Sheriff’s Office budget of approximately 7.1 million dollars for expenditures. These expenditures are offset by approximately 1.7 million in revenues, for a net budget of approximately 5.3 million. This amount is divided in large part between three major functions; Patrol $2,539,003.00, Jail $2,299,074.00, and Dispatch $531,294.00.
Over the last year we have worked hard to make changes in the Sheriff’s Office that increase customer service while controlling spending. This has required tough decisions and changing some long time practices. Change is never easy in a large organization, but it is necessary when customer needs are not being met. Law enforcement is a service profession, and public safety is increased when we meet the needs of the people we serve. I am professionally and personally proud of the manner in which the men and women of the PCSO have responded to these changes. We have more to do, but I know that these dedicated employees are up to the challenge.
In 2012 we will continue to improve the way we do business, by focusing on communicating with the citizens of Pine County. In the near future we will rebuild our computer web page, so it reflects our activities and becomes a useful resource. We will continue working with our local news papers to get information out, and make sure you listen for additional information, during the Pine County Sheriff’s Report, Thursday mornings at 0730 on WCMP radio.
Thank you for the support,
Sheriff Robin Cole