‘A successful crime deterrent’
Prince Edward County Sheriff Wesley Reed spoke during the July 11 Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors meeting to update the board on the sheriff’s office’s “At Will” law enforcement program.
The program gives discretion to the sheriff of allowing overtime for traffic enforcement for his staff.
Reed said the program was a “successful crime deterrent.”
“It gives more police presence in the community, which is a deterrent for crime,” Reed said. “It also gives me extra manpower to assist in scheduling.”
He said for the most part he has only two or three deputies on a given shift.
“When I’ve got that extra man or two out there doing the At Will selective, they’re able to break away or assist with whatever complaints we get,” Reed said.
He said in 2016 the county saw 26 breaking and enterings with 22 being solved.
“This year, so far, we’ve had 12 (breaking and enterings),” Reed said.
He said this year since January there have been nine driving under the influence (DUI) charges.
“Last year, the whole year we only did five,” Reed said. “So, it’s proven to be very effective.”
Reed said if he finds the program not be beneficial, he’d return to the board, requesting them to change it.
According to the board’s agenda, for fiscal year (FY) 2016-17, the program had a total cost of $70,726. Fines collected in FY 2016-17 totaled $189,570.
“The additional number of deputies available resulted in more cost but also increased the revenues,” Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett said.
He said the program has been self-funded since its inception.