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Emergency call center at full staff; jail numbers dip

Nov 20, 2012 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Fremont County's 9-1-1 call center is fully staffed for the first time in five years according to Sheriff Skip Hornecker, who announced the accomplishment Nov. 13 during a Fremont County Commission Meeting.

Though the emergency call center is fully staffed, Hornecker added that the workers there are still fairly young. He said three staffers are in training and two more are in a probationary period.

Detention numbers down

That announcement came along with other positive news from the Sheriff's office: Hornecker said the number of people in detention is down. On Nov. 9, there were 157 people total in detention. That number is down from 175 a month ago and 189 the same time last year.

Furthermore, the county has only one person in detention outside of the county. During the same time last year, the Sheriff's office held 18 people in detention outside of the county.

In a separate conversation Captain Ryan Lee explained that holding inmates outside of the county costs the county more.

"We have to pay for that," he said.

Lee explained that since the county no longer holds juveniles, there is more space in the detention center to hold adults. The one person held outside the county is a juvenile, he said.

Two applicants are in the final stages of the hiring process to fill two open positions in the detention center, Hornecker said. Those positions should be filled by the end of the year.

Hornecker also had bad news to report. He said domestic violence and large animal abuse cases have increased recently, with the latter change possibly due to the season. For example, he said many horse owners that had let their animals feed by grazing now have to provide hay, but some are not doing that.

Commission vice chairman Pat Hickerson asked Hornecker if the grill on a deputy's vehicle prevents collision damage if the vehicle strikes a deer.

"The deer accident was huge, much more than normal. Are the grills really helping?" Hickerson asked, referring to a recent vehicle vs. deer collision involving a county vehicle.

Hornecker said he did some research because he knew about the concern.

"The grill actually saved a lot of structural damage," he said.

The high cost of the repair after the recent accident came from replacing sensors in the damaged part of the vehicle, he said. The sensors set off the air bags when the vehicle is involved in a collision.

"One tech told me he though it'd take four different sensor replacements," Hornecker said of the crash in question.

The technician also told him each sensor costs $1,000 to $2,000, and 90 percent of the dashboard had to be replaced, Hornecker said.