The original Sheriff’s office was located on the first floor of the courthouse until the mid-1990s. Prior to that time, the fourth floor was living quarters for the jail administrator. What was once a living room is now the main office occupied by two secretaries. Three other rooms serve as offices for Sheriff Jeff Crooks and his eleven deputies.
In the mid-2000's a Plexiglas partition at the main entrance counter and a secured access door were installed to enhance the safety of personnel in the Sheriff's Office.
The secretary's desks and cubicles have been relocated several times. Their individual space areas suffice but configuring the room around radiators and electrical outlets provides limited opportunity for efficient workflow.
Sheriff and Deputy's Office Space
Adjacent to the main office is the Civil Deputy office. This 10' x 12' room is occupied by three deputies who share two desks and one computer. This office lacks privacy as it also serves as walk-through to the corridor leading to a private restroom and two other offices.
At the end of the corridor, the Sheriff and two deputies occupy the second of three offices. They each have a desk but they share one computer in the awkward "L" shaped layout of this room.
Six deputies share a 13.5' x 14.25' room for a third office with three desks and one computer. Because of the layout and location, this space is also used for deputy meetings. Twelve law enforcement officers in an already cramped area likely lends itself to be a short meeting.
Storage space is insufficient to say the least. File cabinets, evidence storage vaults, and closets are maxed with critical records, evidence, weapons, ammo, armor gear, and other devices on fourth floor. Any unoccupied closets or vaults from fourth floor down to ground floor, even the courthouse basement are snagged in order to meet storage demands.
The County has no areas to securely store some items confiscated as evidence so paying rent for offsite storage is necessary. Large items such as cars, boats, motorcycles, or farm equipment are common types of evidence collected. A case may lead to masses of smaller items, such as tools, computers, furniture, or any number of items seized in a single event.
We are thankful for our wonderful staff who recognize they don't need anything fancy to perform the duties of their positions. Historically they have not asked for much and have worked within the means of what is available.
Sheriff's staff has increased in numbers because the demand for law enforcement services is ever-changing. The number of warrants issued and jail incarcerations are increasing each year. Misdemeanors are more prevalent. Violent crimes are sweeping across the country with vengeance. Higher degrees of dangerous and illegal drugs continue to creep into the Midwest. Mental health issues are more intense. Domestic and sexual assault cases are escalating. Technology is advancing. Laws are evolving.
The Sheriff's Department takes pride in carrying out its duties. The ability to answer calls for service requires training and skills to protect life and property, a commitment that our Sheriff and deputies take seriously.
We encourage you to visit the courthouse and invite you to attend an informational presentation regarding the proposed Law Enforcement Center and Courthouse Updates. Click here to view the schedule of presentations and opportunities to tour the jail.