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Calls to Cass Sheriff up eight percent

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office received 18,812 calls for service in 2012, according to Sheriff Tom Burch’s annual report.

That is an 8 percent increase over 2011. It includes calls for the sheriff’s deputies, city police and fire departments and ambulance services.

Since 1997, the lowest number of calls received in a year was in 1999 when there were 13,931. The highest, 21,207, was in 2006.

Burch said the good news is that average response time for answering calls has dropped from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. This is partly due to reorganizing work areas and partly due to dispatchers now using a GPS automated vehicle locator, an on-screen map which enables them to see where each squad car is at any given time.

The sheriff’s department submitted 619 files to the county attorney in 2012 for consideration of gross misdemeanor or felony charges. There were 468 misdemeanor charges.

The sheriff’s department collected in 2012 $28,085 in alarm fees, $925 in alarm penalties, $21,045 for firearm permits, $718 for records and $79,837 for civil fees.

Sheriff’s personnel served 1,632 total civil papers in 2012 and conducted 99 mortgage foreclosure sales. There were 772 new warrants issued and 534 warrants cleared.

Employees processed 243 gun permits to carry and processed 507 permits to purchase guns. They processed 2,251 criminal history checks through state records checks and entered 254 “hot files” for stolen items, missing persons, runaway juveniles and statewide alerts.

The boat and water safety division checked 676 boats at 81 resorts and rental businesses, gave 26 presentations and classes, placed 233 navigation buoys/signs/markers, placed and maintained 168 thin ice warning signs and issued 68 event permits and 1,041 raft permits.

That division issued 1.062 verbal warnings, 213 written warnings and 38 citations in 2012.

Deputies made 2,088 documented random compliance checks on 174 Level 1, 2 and 3 registered predatory offenders in 2012. They issued six prosecution packets for non-compliance.

Volunteer groups assisting the sheriff included the chaplaincy, dive team, posse, TRIAD and the water patrol.

The detention center booked 1,912 people into jail in 2012. On average 15.34 people were housed daily at the jail in Walker and 43.51 in Crow Wing County. The inmate population was highest in July and lowest in November.

The sentence to serve program had 124 participants in 2012 who worked 8,528 hours. They worked off about $18,474 worth of fines.

Emergency Management Director Kerry Swenson is now also the system administrator for the 800 MHZ emergency radio system installed last year after taking 80 hours of training. He will be able to do much of the service work needed during daily operations.

The highest number of calls the sheriff received came from the following townships: Pike Bay near Cass Lake, Shingobee and Turtle Lake near Walker, Sylvan in southern Cass and Pine River near that city.

The highest number of calls to cities was to Cass Lake, then to Walker, Pine River and Lake Shore.

On Tuesday, March 19, the county board authorized Burch to purchase seven instead of the budgeted six new patrol vehicles, with receipts from forfeited property sales paying for the additional vehicle.