ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - From starting the year at full staff to taking on thousands more 911 calls to cracking down on drugs and finding stolen property, the Angelina County sheriff is proud of what his department accomplished in 2014.
The East Texas News took a look at the Angelina County Sheriff's Office year-in-review.
In 2014, the Angelina County Sheriff's Office took 21,009 911 calls, 15,000 more than the year before. The dispatchers took over all 911 calls coming from the county and dispatching the volunteer fire departments last June.
“We took on a big responsibility and a big burden to the dispatchers,” Sheriff Greg Sanches said.
The sheriff's office also upgraded security at the courthouse by adding metal detectors and perimeter patrols.
“Security at the courthouse has always been an issue with me,” Sanches said.
A mental health deputy was also added to the sheriff's office roster. Her position is funded by the Burke Center.
So by the numbers, there were two homicide investigations. Elisha Henson's body was found in May. Her murderer was recently sentenced to 50 years behind bars. The second was in December, when a husband and wife were found dead at their home. Both people had gunshot wounds.
Investigators took on 207 narcotics cases more than double the number in 2013 and plan to crack down even harder this year.
“So this year, I'm going to be more proactive and go after these drug dealers,” Sanches said.
Plus nearly 500 theft cases were opened and more than a quarter million in stolen property was returned.
“They are doing a good job of catching all these burglars and thieves, and you're right the public is so glad to be able to get a call and come back and get their property," Sanches said.
Sheriff Sanches said there were a lot of accomplishments at the jail as well.
“Now we have nurses that are over there before it was just techs, and they weren't a nurse. Now they did have a nurse that came in for two hours a week, but now we have for 16 hours a day a nurse,” Sanches said.
Plus, they added their first jail garden which produced more than 15,000 pounds of produce.
“The garden has been really good because it has saved us a lot of money in the process, but also it has been good for self esteem for the prisoners. They like going out there working it, and the public likes it too." Sanches said.
The sheriff's office is currently working to get all the deputies laptops for 2015.