Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 9, 2014

Productive year in Tazewell County

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — The year 2013 has wrapped up, and so has my second year as sheriff. This year’s end update is to provide you, the community we serve, with information outlining some of the achievements by the men and women that make up the sheriff’s office.

To recap all of the accomplishments in this past year would take up more space than I have, so I will simply highlight some of the more significant accomplishments. Please know that the accomplishments were a result of teamwork, leadership and actions taken by all levels of employees of the sheriff’s office.

The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office employs more than 70 men and women from throughout Tazewell County that work in various areas, including patrol, civil process, courthouse security, professional staff, code enforcement, prisoner transportation, detective division, Assign-A-Highway and the 911 communications center. Our officers work in several special programs as well, including DARE, Neighborhood Watch, the narcotics task force, drug court and the inmate litter program.

I would like relate to you some of the sheriff’s office accomplishments this past year.

• Members of the office have formed a Special Response Team for a more prepared response to large scale emergencies.

• More than $113,000 was awarded from the Attorney General’s Office for the purchase of UTVs and police vehicles.

• Patrol rifles were funded, purchased and placed in every patrol vehicle and a partnership was established with Pocahontas State Prison for use of the firing range where the training with the rifles was conducted

• Multiple items were brought in from the Military Surplus Program including a MRAP valued at $640,000 at no cost. Two John Deere Gators were also procured from the military surplus program along with two trailers, again at no cost.

• Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) were secured through grant funding and placed in every patrol vehicle. A continuation grant in the amount of $59,000 was received to continue the program.

• Two K-9 units trained in narcotics detection and tracking were added to the department.   

• The department’s 911 director obtained national certification as Emergency Number Professional (ENP). 

• Three employees graduated from the Professional Leadership Academy in Bristol.

• A text-alert paging system was installed to enhance our 911 center when paging out fire and rescue agencies.

• A statewide COMLINC Radio System was installed in the 911 center to enable us to communicate to agencies throughout the state of Virginia.

Along with these achievements in 2013, the men and women of the sheriff’s office were busy handling the multitude of calls and tasks that go on daily within the county. Here are some additional statistics of the work being performed: 

• The 911 dispatch center answered a total of 108,329 phone calls, including emergency and non-emergency calls, and processed more than 894,000 radio transmissions.

• Issued 861 traffic tickets for various driving offenses.

• Made 4,000 arrests for various crimes, and with a 20 percent increase in drug arrests.

• Deputies worked more than 191 traffic accidents.

• Served more than 14,600 civil papers. 

• Bagged up more than 2,000 bags of trash and worked inmates over 1,500 hours picking up trash and performing other community projects throughout the county. 

• Initiated 55 criminal cases of computer crimes involving the exploitation of children.

• Answered more than 1,000 animal complaint calls and impounded 500 animals.

• Through our Assign-a-Highway program, probationers picked up an additional 5,600 bags of trash.

• Handled 343 prisoner transports with 144 of those transports outside of Virginia.

• Employees of the sheriff’s office volunteered more than 1,000 hours combined at various community functions and charitable events throughout the county.

As we move into a new year, the sheriff’s office is committed to providing you with high-quality, public safety service and we will be responsive to your concerns and safety needs. Public safety is the bedrock of our quality of life, and we take our responsibilities seriously. The hard-working men and women of the sheriff’s office are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve you, and as sheriff, I commit to work with you and faithfully honor my oath of office.  We must continue to work together to improve Tazewell County and to ensure we live in a safe community. If you have community or public safety issues, or suggestions on how we can improve service, please do not hesitate to schedule a meeting with me or my staff.

In closing, I want you to know that I consider it a privilege to serve as your sheriff and I thank you for your continued support.

Brian Hieatt

Sheriff of Tazewell County