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Improvements, changes made at Sheriff’s Office

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Computers have been installed in all patrol vehicles of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)

by Tom Chillemi
Part 1

Middlesex Sheriff David Bushey took office in January of 2012 and began the process of restructuring the sheriff’s office and making numerous other changes.

One major change was redesigning the sheriff’s office badge, which deputies wear on their uniforms. Sheriff Bushey explained that the county administration requested a new design because nearly 200 badges had been issued previous to him taking office. The new design has a star with a ring around it.

Other changes included: installing computers in all patrol cars; filing proper DMV grant applications resulting in an additional $17,000 in grant money; and creating a conference and training room where there is a gun bench that deputies use to maintain and clean their service weapons.

Sheriff Bushey said he learned how law enforcement agencies use social media to help solve crimes and benefit the public through blogs and Facebook.

Sheriff Bushey also spent $5,000 of his personal money to paint and carpet the office and for flags. The staff purchased plants and flowers to spruce up the exterior of the office.

Finances
On the financial side, the sheriff’s office was audited before he became sheriff. Another audit in September 2012 resulted in a good report, said Sheriff Bushey.
Sheriff Bushey said he has been working closely with Middlesex constitutional officers and reports to them frequently.

He set up a program to pay deputies when they work privately (while not on duty) through the Middlesex County Treasurer’s Office.

He worked with the Middlesex County administration to reduce compensatory time that had accumulated to between $80,000 and $100,000. By auditing claims, the total paid has been reduced to about $25,000. He also completely reorganized the process his staff uses in reporting to the State Compensation Board.

Personnel from the sheriff’s office and DSS are attending classes on domestic violence. “We’re trying to work together more and more on new ideas,” said Bushey.

A staff weight loss program was instituted and is proving successful. For example, Bushey noted that deputy Trey Blake has lost 60 pounds.

The sheriff’s office is working with the county to lease-purchase three new police vehicles.

Sheriff Bushey also is reorganizing the evidence room and is in the process of designing it. He also inventoried equipment for deputies and replaced 14 fingerprint kits so that each patrol car now has one. The inventory also accounted for all department weapons and added a gun safe.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 01.16.2013

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