The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is an accredited 5 "C" (Criminal, Court, Civil, Corrections and Communications) law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in approximately 977 square miles of Alachua County. We have provided these services since 1841. We stand for the highest quality law enforcement and inmate detention, rendered with dedication to equality, fairness and professional integrity. Our over 850 sworn and civilian employees strive to keep our streets and communities safe for Alachua County's citizens.
We work every day in cooperation with the nine local municipalities (Alachua, Archer, Gainesville, Hawthorne, High Springs, LaCrosse, Micanopy, Newberry, Waldo) that make up Alachua County to ensure that the services they provide are supported by the countywide jurisdiction and authority vested in the Sheriff.
Even in the fourth year of a tough national failing economy, your Alachua County Sheriff's Office was able to improve on successful programs and add innovative law enforcement tools, without impacting our budget. In much of what we accomplished this year, we had to look internally for ways to save money without cutting our services. I am proud of the men and women of the ACSO who stepped up to the plate with innovative suggestions, and also volunteered and donated to numerous external charitable organizations that the Sheriff's Office supports throughout the year. Since being elected Sheriff, I have encouraged deputies and civilian personnel to serve in our community by committing personal and on-duty time with the elderly, homeless, disabled and our youth. The generosity of our employees continues to be overwhelming, while they also struggle themselves with the impact the economy has had on them personally.
In our second year operating under the community oriented policy philosophy the Patrol Division created a COPS unit that has resulted in enhanced community partnerships. A new Citizens Feedback Survey and a Public Service Enhancement Guideline for our employees was implemented in 2009. Our goal is to improve our services by really listening to how we are doing by those who call upon us each and every day in Alachua County.
Utilizing county property purchased for $1/acre, deputy labor, and talent, the Rural Services Unit planned, organized and built a livestock impound pen for ACSO in LaCrosse. Built on a 30 acre pasture, the full service facility will be used for rescued animals that the Sheriff's Office investigates from abused, neglected and criminal cases.
In 2009 we partnered with local law enforcement officials in kicking off our new Gun Bounty Program. Anonymous callers to a tip line that leads to an arrest for a crime committed with a firearm in Alachua County can get up to $1,000 reward. Keeping guns used in illegal activities off the streets and out of the hands of criminals will keep our citizens safer.
Youth programs and prevention initiatives are still a priority with me and our Free Teen Driver program, a driver safety course for youth between the ages of 15-19, continues to be one of the most successful programs of the Sheriff's Office. In 2009, the momentum continues to save lives as we erected "Buckle Up" signs at the exit/entrance areas of all of our local high schools, encouraging our young students to follow the law, stay safe and buckle up. This year, ACSO joined the social networking craze with our own Facebook, YouTube and Twitter social media sites. Go to Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube to find out more.
The Department of the Jail was recognized for our efforts in promoting literacy in our GED program and for our new inmate culinary program, designed to provide job skills for offenders upon their release. Our Combined Communications Center instituted new technology – laptops, GIS mapping, radio communication, etc. keeping us at the forefront of law enforcement tools for our deputies, thus improving call response time and data accuracy.
As your Alachua County Sheriff, it is my honor to serve this community and to promote a service orientation that compliments safety and quality of life.
Sheriff Sadie Darnell