Sheriff Dave Lucas has outlined some major changes for his office in the time he has been sheriff in the county and Wednesday he gave an update during a meeting with commissioners.
Sheriff Lucas said he was able to run a tight ship, and maintain a high level of security in the county, all the while saving taxpayers money. In the time Lucas has been in office he has started to implement a number of changes to streamline the operations of the Sheriff’s office.
One key item he pointed out was running the office in a fiscally responsible manner. In the first quarter of 2016 he ran the office under budget and in achieving that, he replaced deputies at the jail with corrections officers, which in turn puts more deputies on the roads to combat major issues in the county, “We know, not only here across Ohio, West Virginia, our drug, our opiate problem and from that when I took over, we formed the Belmont County Major Crime Unit. All law enforcement agencies in Belmont County are members and they participate in the Major Crime Unit, we’re all making the drug problem, our problem,” said Belmont County Sheriff, Dave Lucas.
Other changes included equipping deputy cruisers with what he called bail out bags, which contain ammunition and items deputies use in the case of medical emergency before EMS crews arrive to the scene. This week the Sheriff’s office will receive updated computer systems, which was all done through grant money.
Lucas said he was also been able to reduce the amount of overtime paid out to deputies and corrections officers by 27 percent over the last year, and he brought back 24-hour staff to his front office to better serve the residents of Belmont County.