Sheriff's Message History

Sheriff's Message for 2010

January 11, 2010

As we start on our second year together, I take a look back at our accomplishments of 2009.

In year one, we opened a new customer service office at the Town Center Mall in Port Charlotte. The new office has become a main-stay in our service to our community. The office is the most centrally located office in the county and our partnership with Simon Mall is excellent. We look forward to that partnership expanding in the future.

In 2009, we also saw the beginning of our Volunteer Services Unit. Citizen volunteers have answered the call and we currently have over 200 volunteers helping their community through the Sheriff's Office. We have a neighborhood patrol unit called the C.O.P.S (Citizen Observation Patrol Service), a marine patrol volunteer unit, an aviation observer section, a parking enforcement unit and a reserve deputy program, all volunteer. Our new program was nationally recognized when the coordinator, Sgt. Phil Schofield was named the Volunteer Coordinator of the Year for 2009 by the National C.O.P. program.

Our emphasis on eradicating drugs from our neighborhoods led the charge for our Street Crimes Unit, a five member team that concentrates on drug enforcement and crime suppression. They work hand-in-hand with other agencies in our area to interrupt drug trafficking in and through Charlotte County. This team has made a serious dent in the drug community and will continue to do so in 2010.

Our jail has also seen some significant change. We are in the final stages of the jail expansion project as the county finishes the additional 400 bed facility attached to the current jail. The jail staff has taken innovation to a new level by making the inmates take an active role in “paying their own way” as they serve time in the jail. We have a fish farm now that the inmates manage. They will grow, harvest, fillet, and cook their own fish for food in the jail. The inmates are also growing vegetables in the new hydroponic garden in the back of the jail. They will grow, harvest and prepare their own vegetables this year. These two programs not only save money, but they teach the inmates a transferable skill and make their time served productive time instead of wasted time. Inmates are also doing obedience training for dogs through a partnership with the Animal Welfare League through the “Cell Dog” program. These previously abandoned dogs are then adopted by members of the community and can enjoy a long and happy life at their new homes. And keep an eye out for the next phase of jail programs in 2010. A chicken farm is in the planning stages now.

The men and women of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office are truly Charlotte County's finest. We have over 600 people serving you and they do so with great pride and dedication to their duties. When you see one of your Sheriff's Office representatives out in the community, be sure to let them know you appreciate their service. A small “Thank You” goes a very long way.

I would therefore like to end by saying "Thank You" to the citizens of Charlotte County for making this such a great place to live and work. By working together in 2010 we can make it even better.

Sheriff Bill Cameron

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