Athens Review, Athens, Texas

August 21, 2013

HCSO getting faster

Average response time improves

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Citizens calling the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office to report an offense or suspicious activity are seeing the arrival of a deputy sooner than in past years.

Sheriff Ray Nutt said the average response time is now 19 minutes, significantly lower than when he took office.

“It was about 30 minutes when we came in,” Nutt said. “Last year, it was 20 or 21, but it’s gone down.”

Nutt said the decrease in average response time doesn’t mean on occasion someone might have to wait quite a bit longer before a patrol deputy comes.

“It depends on what else is going on,” Nutt said. “We also instructed those in communications to call back and let someone know when we are tied up.”

Nutt said one way HCSO has lowered response time is by having a deputy or other officer respond, even if that person is busy with paperwork at the Sheriff’s Office.

“If something happens around Athens and we have someone here working on reports and someone on patrol in Chandler, we’ll send the closest one,” Nutt said.

HCSO reports for the first half of 2013 show 10,534 calls answered by deputies. Investigators cleared 158 cases resulting in 895 arrests. Investigations resulted in recovered stolen property with an estimated value of $270,767.

The HCSO continued to concentrate on removing drugs and drug manufacturers from the county. The amount of methamphetamine seized  was 45.25 grams and cocaine seizures totaled 2,034.25 grams. The HCSO also seized 9.75 ounces of marijuana and 17 marijuana plants. The total value of narcotics seized was $85,640.

The jail population has been closer to capacity in 2013, with an average daily inmate population of 364. The detention division has housed a total of 446 out-of-county inmates at various times during the year, as well as 172 inmates from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

One year ago, the jail population for August, 2012 averaged just 298 and there were no out-of-county inmates in the Henderson County Jail.

The communications division answered 18,224 calls through June 30, while 2,664 warrants were served or recalled.