A number of elected Stevens County officials gave their annual Year in Review reports to the County Board of Commissioners at a lengthy meeting yesterday at the Stevens County Courthouse. One of those was Sheriff Jason Dingman, who reported a slight uptick of Incident Complaint Reports over last year, 5042 compared to 4863. The number of prisoner transports the deputies have to handle was 483 so far this. Last year’s figure was 488.
The sheriff reported his budget as “close to being on track.” He said much time was spent on two sexual assault cases in the past year, one in Hancock and one in Alberta. New 911 software is in the process of being installed. And the department is looking for a place to store vehicles that need to be stored for evidentiary purposes. There was a case this year involving a crash on County Road 10 and the vehicle was towed to Morris Auto Wrecking. The department did not realize it had racked up a storage fee of $5,000 when it was finally released.
Asked by Commissioner Jeanne Ennen what the main law enforcement concerns are for the county, Dingman said mental health was the number one concern. Some bills floating in the legislature may help, he said. And drugs remain the number two concern.
“Methamphetamine is second on the list, because that’s coming back,” said Dingman. “For a while, it died off, but it’s coming back to the glory days of the early 2000s again. We’re already starting to see that. And it’s not just catching people with the product or using. It’s the other crimes associated with their use — burglaries, things like that.”
The Sheriff’s Office is still looking for a Communications Manager. Details for that job can be found on the County’s website.