OC Sheriff releases 2016 Summary

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office offers the following report to the citizens of the county concerning crime and law enforcement activities for 2016. Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw includes the following accomplishments that were realized by the dedicated men and women at the Sheriff’s Office working in partnership with the citizens of Oconee County and other law enforcement agencies. The new Oconee County Detention Center officially began operations on Jan. 29, 2016. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office equipped an additional six of our Uniform Patrol Vehicles with Automated External Defibrillator’s (AED’s) for a total of fourteen in our efforts to provide life saving measures in many instances where our deputies are the first to arrive on a scene. The Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the School District of Oconee County, held its second Leadership Camp in June to continue building relationships with our youth. The Sheriff’s Office sponsored five pill take back days and collected 590 lbs. of prescription and over the counter medication. Tips that came into the Crime Stoppers of Oconee County, Inc. program resulted in 7 cases cleared and/or arrests made. Crime Stoppers paid out approximately $800 for tips that lead to arrests in 2016. The Sheriff’s Office continued to expand its footprint of social media in 2016 with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and You Tube accounts. The Sheriff’s Office continued to keep the public and the media informed about activities and enforcement as the Public Information Office issued 282 press releases. Over the last four years, the Public Information Office has issued approximately 1,096 press releases. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office conducted active shooter training in an effort to further prepare deputies to respond to emergency situations. In March, a crew from the syndicated program “Crime Watch Daily” came to Oconee County to profile the unsolved case of Stacey Holsonback. The program aired on March 29, 2016 across the country. First Sergeant Bryan Long was named Officer of the Year twice, first the American Legion Officer of the Year during the Jake Robinson American Legion law enforcement appreciation luncheon in February and also named Officer of the Year during the 11th annual Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet in April. The Sheriff’s Office held its third annual law enforcement retiree luncheon in May in conjunction with Police Memorial Week. Sheriff Crenshaw announced the TELL Kobie initiative in May of 2016 to bring awareness to the litter problem in our county and to give citizens an anonymous way to report litter locations. Two female reserve officers, Kathy Frederick and Sonia Royal, graduated reserve officer training and took their oath in June. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office with the support of county council added two full time deputies that are assigned to our marine unit to increase law enforcement’s presence on lake’s Keowee, Hartwell, and Jocassee. Two new patrol boats were also acquired. The Sheriff’s Office added two new elementary school resource officers with the support of the Oconee County School Board. This provided additional security and mentoring for the students in our county. The third Citizens Police Academy graduated on Nov. 1 with 27 individuals graduating from the program. Deputy Justin Stokes was awarded the J.P. Strom Award upon graduation from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy in December. The Sheriff’s Office conducted three Operation Infinity drug round-ups in 2016. According to Oconee County Sheriff’s Office records, the following are some of the violent and property crimes reported in 2016. They include the following: one homicide, ten attempted murders, 21 death Investigations, 11 robberies, 30 aggravated assaults, five arsons, 378 burglaries, 289 shopliftings, 289 grand larcenies, 89 motor vehicle thefts, 78 forgeries, 173 financial or fraud crimes, 211 vandalisms, 40 adult sexual assaults, 203 domestic violence cases, 157 crimes against children, and 19 crimes against vulnerable adults. In 2016, 81,493 calls were received for service. The total amount of telephone calls was 180,707 of which there were 35,375 Emergency 911 calls and 145,332 which were non-emergency calls. Our 911 center receives calls for fire or rescue, EMS, four local police departments, and the Sheriff’s Office. Oconee County dispatch continues to exceed the requirements of the national standards based on NENA and NFPA requirements for 911 calls answered within ten and twenty seconds. Dispatchers spent a total of 5,196 hours on the telephone in 2016 and employees had around 2,767 total training hours during the year. 83% of all 911 calls were from wireless devices. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit made 279 drug related cases in 2016. The value of drugs seized was over $1.1 million. The Uniformed Patrol Division made an additional 74 drug cases with the value of drugs seized at $7,900.00. Methamphetamines accounted for the most prevalent drug for the fourth year in a row accounting for 41% of the cases. This is down from meth accounting for 54% of the cases in 2015. This unit saw cases of marijuana and children being exposed to drugs increase in 2016. There were 7 meth labs dismantled during the year. The warrant unit served 1,321 warrants on 809 individuals. The courthouse unit provided security for judicial proceedings in courts that included 56 days of General Sessions, 169 days of Family Court, 31 days of Common Pleas Court, 22 days of Preliminary Hearings, 24 days of DSS or Court Rule proceedings, and 14 days of Grand Jury proceedings. The Family Court deputy served 724 papers on 654 individuals. 54,860 individuals were scanned through the metal detectors coming into the courthouse. 1,003 defendants were transported from jail to court while 68 trips were made to out of county facilities to transport detained juveniles to and from court. The Aviation Unit had 49 flights which included 15 law enforcement missions, 23 training missions, and 11 community service missions. The Marine Unit covered around 2,646 miles in 2016 along Lake Hartwell, Keowee and Jocassee, with 177 vessel safety checks conducted and making contact with 966 individuals on or along the lakes. This unit worked 10 special events on the lakes in our county. The SWAT team had 8 activations that included high risk drug warrants and assisting other agencies. Training continued on a monthly basis that collectively amounted to 2,560 hours in order to be prepared in the event of an emergent situation. A specialized interdiction team conducted 377 vehicle stops which resulted in 38 violations, 27 drug cases, and 9 fugitive arrests. Environmental Services received 142 litter complaints, with the total number of litter charges at 11. Sheriff’s Deputies filed an additional 21 charges for litter which brings the agency total to 32 charges for litter violations. The Sheriff’s Office participated in the Zero Tolerance for Litter campaign in 2016, which was sponsored by Palmetto Pride. The Sheriff’s Inmate work crew picked up approximately 10,703 lbs. of litter along the county’s roadways. The Sheriff’s Office adopted a two mile stretch of Highway 11 and picked up a total of 72 bags of trash using employee volunteers and their family members. The Training Unit plays a vital role and conducted or coordinated more than 12,809 hours of training for our agency. This includes mandated in-service classes along with advanced and basic academy classes. We have been able to assist the cities of Walhalla and Westminster with in-service training for their police officers. The Civil Unit served 2,483 papers in 2016 which included 147 evictions or foreclosures. The K-9 Unit which consists of one German Shepherd, two Dutch Shepherd’s, three Belgian Malinois’s. This unit trained for a combined 628 hours and assisted with vehicle searches, explosive searches, and missing persons. There were 1,189 individuals arrested by the road patrol division. This division wrote a total of 4,370 incident reports, which is an average of 132 reports per officer. The division has seven reserve deputies that are mandated to volunteer 20 hours each per month during the year to assist with law enforcement activities. The 1,680 hours per year saves the taxpayers $25,200 based on the cost per hour for a full-time deputy with benefits. There were 14 uses of force department wide during 2016. Based on 1,189 arrests being made, patrol deputies had to use force on 1.1% of those arrested; two officers were injured in 2016 during use of force encounters with one requiring no medical attention and the other being treated for minor injuries; minor cuts and abrasions on three suspects, of which none was transported to a medical facility but two individuals were transported for mental evaluations. There were 0 uses of deadly force in 2016. Force was used on .32% of all incident reports that were written. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office initiated 1,344 vehicle stops in 2016 compared to 1,770 in 2015 and 1,979 in 2014. The following is a breakdown of the ethnicity for males and females:
2013 – Female – 13 Hispanic, 85 African American, 366 Caucasian, 13 Other
Male – 44 Hispanic, 129 African American, 710 Caucasian, 11 Other
2014 – Female – 24 Hispanic, 106 African American, 535 Caucasian, 13 Other
Male – 82 Hispanic, 216 African American, 988 Caucasian, 15 Other
2015 – Female – 21 Hispanic, 59 African American, 465 Caucasian, 4 Other
Male – 67 Hispanic, 146 African American, 971 Caucasian, 16 other
2016 – Female – 21 Hispanic, 24 African American, 337 Caucasian, 12 other
Male – 67 Hispanic, 70 African American, 781 Caucasian, 32 other
The uniform patrol division was involved in 14 vehicle pursuits in 2016 compared to 13 in 2015. Two out of the fourteen pursuits were called off and the suspect was later arrested with a warrant. 1% of all of the vehicle stops made in 2016 resulted in the driver refusing to stop. Criminal Investigations was assigned 1,368 cases in 2016. 909 of those cases were cleared. Statistically, Criminal Investigations cleared 66% of their assigned cases. 2,251 cases were assigned to the Victim Services Unit, which includes providing victim services to the cities of Westminster, Walhalla, West Union, and Salem. The Victim Advocates attended court with the victims of crimes 212 times. The Victim Advocates assisted victims with 60 orders of protection being issued. 19 victims of domestic violence were transported to Safe Harbor during the year. The School Resource Officers taught 118 classes involving approximately 2,694 students. The topics covered in those cases were harassment, bullying, texting, unlawful communication, drugs and alcohol. They conducted 667 student conferences and 270 parent conferences with 114 home visits. There were 16 juvenile referrals to DJJ and 14 citations written. The SRO’s worked 1,043 hours for activities after the school day ended. Animal Control took in 3,405 animals in 2016, with 1,044 animals adopted and 286 returned to their owners. There were 829 transferred to no kill rescues 1,072 were euthanized. Overall, Animal Control received 1420 calls for service. There were 107 tickets issued. Statistically, 31% of all animals taken in were euthanized while 63% were saved through adoption, transfer to a rescue, or returned to their owner. Oconee County currently has 181 registered sex offenders. There were 6 warrants signed in 2016 regarding sex offender registry violations. Statistically, the Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Program has a 97% compliance rate. Community Services welcomed 10 different school groups that toured and had presentations made from different units within the Sheriff’s Office. Twenty-two church, business, residential security assessments were conducted. There were 18 active shooter presentations presented throughout the community. Nine neighborhood Crime Watch meetings were held in various communities. The third annual Citizens Police Academy was held and graduated 27 individuals. The CPA alumnus meets on a monthly basis at the Sheriff’s Office to plan future fund raisers as well as other events. The average daily population at the Oconee County Detention Center for 2016 was 168 compared to 2015 where the average daily population 154. The total number of bookings (arrestees processed) declined, from 3,879 in 2015 to 3,654 in 2016. The Detention Center averaged 137 males per day along with 31 females based on the average daily population. There was an average of 135 pre-trial inmates per day compared to 33 sentenced inmates per day based on the average daily population. Thirty inmates were placed in electronic monitoring in 2016. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office continues to promote community oriented policing principles of establishing relationships with our citizens and building partnerships to make our county a safer place. We strive to maintain a spirit of transparency. We continue to work hard to earn the trust of the public we serve.