Jasper County Sheriff’s Office releases 2020 year-end report
Pandemic led to numerous changes
JASPER COUNTY, Mo. – The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office releases its annual year end report following a tumultuous 2020. In the report, Sheriff Randee Kaiser called it a historic year not only because of the pandemic but because Jasper County began working an expansion of the jail.
In 2019 voter approved a quarter-cent sales tax to fund expansion of the Jasper County Jail to provide an additional 100 beds to the existing 183 beds the facility currently holds. Kaiser said the current capacity is insufficient. The expansion will also add more space for visitation and high tech options like telehealth and telepsychiatry. Plans are in the works to implement a new rehab program within the jail which will require additional room to function effectively.
Groundbreaking for the the expansion began on the morning of Wednesday, September 2 2020. The ground has since been cleared and prepped, and construction has started. It’s expected to finish in the Spring of 2022.
When the coronavirus pandemic became widespread in March, the Sheriff’s Office began dramatic changes to its operations. The way the Patrol Division responded to calls for service, the way the jail detention officers booked inmates and the way officers interacted with the community looked different as the Sheriff’s Office took precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
One of the changes came to the way the jail implemented a video visitation system which lets family visit with inmates from home. The family sets up an account, via the internet, and then can talk to their incarcerated family member through a kiosk located in the inmate’s living quarters. For those that do not have internet connection, the jail modified a small room at the jail that has outside access and is available to the public. Kaiser say it greatly reduces the flow of traffic through the front doors of the jail.
In 2020 deputies made 5,698 traffic stops which resulted in 1,326 citations issued and 119 DWI arrests. Patrol Deputies also made 936 custodial arrests for a variety of offenses. Force was used 67 times during arrests. SWAT was activated a total of 12 times to assist with search warrants and arrest warrants within Jasper County and to assist other agencies and counties who do not have their own SWAT.
Kaiser says numbers concerning crime, incarceration, transportation, bookings, civil process, etc., don’t seem to reflect as much as they usually do. Because of the pandemic he says this year can’t be measured in the traditional way.
You find more statistics and a break down of some of the community outreach in the full report below: