The year ahead for the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office

By on January 5, 2022 0

By dissecting the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, you have three departments that are intertwined, but each has distinct specific responsibilities and duties.

People usually think of MPs first and that makes sense because they are the face of the sheriff’s office. They respond to domestic violence, drunk driving, loose livestock on the roads, vehicle deaths, etc. They have the most direct interactions with the public.

Dispatch is what we think of as 911 when an emergency arises. They inform the first responders that will be needed in each case and communicate and coordinate with everyone during the crisis. They also answer the non-urgent number (406) 822-3555, to answer questions and help direct people.

The detention, or jailers, are on site alongside the expedition and they take care of the prisoners, internal disturbances, medical needs, meals, escort them to the district court, etc.

All three departments are staffed 24/7/365 with no 15-minute break, all holidays are worked, and 12-hour shifts are expected most often.

“Right now every department is staffed with the exception of detention where we have an opening,” Mineral County Sheriff Mike Toth said. “But we are looking for and always want to build a list of candidates for each section.”

The prison has 27 beds, including the holding cell. Toth is committed to taking state and federal prisoners, which has not been done for many years in this prison, and it generates a healthy source of income. $ 78 per federal prisoner and $ 65 per state prisoner each day, with a daily average of 12 to 15, brings in money that Toth would like to use for future needs, with the security cameras for the prison cells being at the top of the list.

It will also contribute to employee salary increases and support ongoing prison overhead costs (electricity, heating, inmate meals, etc.) and provide an account for future upgrades and expenses. Toth knew the county wanted the jail to reopen and the only way for him to see that happen was for it to become as close to a stand-alone entity as possible.

“I think we’ve had a good year. The prison will have been open for 1 year next month and the entire staff has received several increases. We both started (Undersheriff Wayne Cashman) in August 2020 and the hourly wage was $ 12.80 for shipping and holding. Quite quickly, we increased it to $ 15 an hour because we weren’t getting applicants for that amount, ”Toth explains.

“This got us our first group of employees. Mind you, not everyone had any training and some decided to leave after doing the job for a while and decided it wasn’t for them. It happens. But all of a sudden we have about three offers and no applications come in, however, it was happening statewide from McDonald’s to car sales and mechanics.

Toth went back to the county commissioners and asked for an additional $ 2 per hour for holding and shipping, but that was after the 2022-2023 budget was finalized and approved. The commissioners met him more than halfway with $ 1.30 an hour more and the remaining 70 cents an hour in the next budget session.

“MPs haven’t had a decent raise for a long time, so we hope that this coming budget year we can get them a living wage. The morale is good. Members like to work here, but money is a problem because all but one have families.

Last year, each deputy received a new service weapon, taser, and body camera. State-of-the-art computer systems in their brand new police vehicles and the dispatch center will have the latest 911 system installed in central control next month. The six new police vehicles were the only cost to taxpayers, but the monthly cost of purchasing them was already in budget.

“Everything else was Covid money,” Toth explained. “It’s going to be a good year because we are all working well as a unit. There has been an expected turnover since I’ve been here, but it worked in our favor as I think we now have the cream of the crop in all 3 departments ”.

2022 is an election year and Toth is looking forward to it.

“I hope the citizens see that I love this county and I am trying to do my best. We are in talks with the three principals to create a school resources manager who would be another assistant. That person would rotate, with equal balance, at all three schools during the school year, and then be on patrol during the summer, when we are busiest. We are all on board and are putting our heads together for the funding to cover the post ”.

Everyone in every department of MCSO understands that schools and children must be the top priority and that MPs must give up whatever they are doing and answer any call from any of the schools.

Toth expected his post to be a working sheriff, meaning he would be on patrol with MPs, but that’s just not possible anymore as being sheriff in Mineral County comes with more administrative responsibilities. than ever before.

“I’m not a politician and it could be a downfall, but I’m a cop and I know how to run an office. I know how to give the service people deserve. Members of Parliament are friendly and want to meet and work with everyone. We all care, and we’re here for public safety, and I’m on the phone for anyone. “

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