The Platte County Sheriff’s Office is comprised of three separate divisions — road patrol, corrections and dispatch — with 71 employees throughout all three divisions.

The road patrol is comprised of 19 deputies, including the sheriff, and three secretaries. Their duties range from patrolling all highways and roadways within Platte County, answering calls for service, serving civil process, serving arrest warrants, courthouse and courtroom security, issuance of firearm permits and completing vehicle inspections to name a few.

Throughout 2016, the sheriff’s office received 2,914 civil process documents for service, issued 338 firearms permits and performed 1,855 title inspections. Deputies spent more than 6,000 hours on calls for service and an excess of 6,000 hours providing courtroom security. Deputies initiated 5,819 cases, served 219 warrants, made 403 criminal arrests, issued 1,073 traffic citations and issued 1,724 traffic warnings and correction cards.

Corrections works within the Platte County Detention Facility (PCDF), which is located on the east edge of Columbus. The PCDF is currently made up of 40 correction officers, two secretaries, two nurses and one maintenance personnel.

Their duties range from care of the present 144-bed inmate jail facility, which includes all matters pertaining to jail security, jail operations and inmate services. The corrections division is also responsible for the transportation of inmates from various jurisdictions, to and from court appearances, to and from doctor's or dentist's visits, as well as assisting the road patrol with the transportation of both criminal and civil transports.

For 2016, the PCDF booked in 2,230 inmates (both male and female) and transported inmates a total of 53,998 miles. The PCDF contracts with a food service company for meals, but is responsible for supplying a kitchen and inmate workers to assist in preparing meals, and in 2016 served 82,193 meals. The PCDF is equipped with its own courtroom, from which video court can be conducted with any courthouse possessing the equipment to do so. The PCDF was the first in the state to utilize an in-house courtroom with video court capabilities.

Dispatch is made up of seven full-time dispatchers. Their duties range from answering calls, dispatching deputies to calls for service, entering calls into the sheriff’s office data system, entering all arrest warrants received into the state and national database systems and entering all protection orders into the state's database system. In 2016, dispatch received 1,088 arrest warrants and entered 108 protection orders. Dispatch also ran 1,747 criminal history checks.

When I consider what would be one of the main concerns facing law enforcement today, I would respond by noting the many issues law enforcement is often left dealing with regarding mental health. Whether it be our interactions on our streets or in our schools, or the overall mental health of those being held in our correctional institutions, law enforcement is often left making a determination of how to best go about helping that individual receive assistance. Even though we have quality service providers in the area, our community is lacking enough providers to assist everyone in need. These are issues that sadly are becoming commonplace within the law enforcement profession, however the sheriff’s office always has and shall remain dedicated to providing the best service we can to the individuals we interact with and the community we serve.

Platte County Sheriff Ed Wemhoff can be reached at 402-564-3229.

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