Sheriff’s Office Accomplishments 2013-present

Safe Schools plan with Buncombe County Schools—The Buncombe County School Board approved the suggestions to the Safe Schools Plan made by the Safe Schools Task Force.  The suggestions included hiring seven new School Resource Officers (SRO’s ).

The Department of Justice’s Office Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Grant--   The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office received an $875,000 grant from the Department of Justice. The grant will be paid out over a period of three years, and will cover 75% of the salaries of the seven new School Resource Officers in the Buncombe County School System.  The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office was one of only six agencies in North Carolina to receive an award.

Calls for service--Total calls for service for 2013 was 67,415 (up just over 6% from the prior year. The Sheriff’s Office has continued to maintain an average response time of under 10 minutes to all priority calls.

Video Visitation​​

The Buncombe County Detention Center implemented a video visitation system was implemented for a number of reasons.  The first reason was to maintain the safety of the facility.  Visitors never enter the building any further than the front lobby but are still able to have their visits.  This helps the jail staff out tremendously in regards to contraband control and cuts down on damage to the facility by visitors.  The second reason the system was implemented was to eventually expand to the home access component.  This component allows citizens who otherwise couldn’t make it to the facility due to inclement weather, health reasons, or proximity to the facility, the ability to still see their loved one while they are incarcerated.  Several attorneys have shown a great interest in this option as well because now they can hold confidential meetings with their clients and never have to leave their office.

​SERV Program-

​​SERV stands for Sheriff’s Executive Resource Volunteers.  The program was established to promote effective use of the many citizens of Buncombe County who wish to donate their time and talents to further the goals of the Sheriff’s Office. There are at least three tangible results that can be expected from the development of our S.E.R.V. program:

• Citizen volunteers can relieve deputies of routine tasks, both clerical and professional as well as allow deputies to focus resources on more urgent law enforcement and community needs. This will free staff's time while it increases work productivity and allows them to focus on where their skills can be best utilized.

• Build a stronger bridge of understanding and communication with the community and community leaders. S.E.R.V. provides a comfortable, non-threatening resource to the community while providing direct assistance to citizens who often feel their needs or questions are too trivial and are reluctant to contact the Sheriff’s Office. S.E.R.V. becomes a powerful and respected voice in our community; these efforts allow certified officers to spend time protecting the community and equate to thousands of dollars of payroll savings for the taxpayer

• Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office sworn personnel benefit from the diverse experience of working closely with citizens. Sheriff’s Office personnel begin to rely on them as a community and personal resource recognizing that these volunteers are citizens but respecting the fact that they also understand the stresses and difficulties of law enforcement.

​​Asset Forfeiture Program

Asset Forfeiture Money-- Asset Forfeiture money allowed the Sheriff’s Office to make a joint purchase with the City of Asheville to buy a $250,000 Bearcat armored vehicle.  The Bearcat’s use allows law enforcement greater flexibility in protecting the citizens of this county and provides greater officer safety than ever before.  All at the expense of forfeited drug money. Over 28.6 million dollars (street value) worth of drugs, property, and cash was seized from local drug dealers during the past four years.

COPS Teams​​

The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office has dispatched several Community Oriented Problem Solving (COPS) teams in communities throughout Buncombe County.  The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office utilizes this problem solving based approach to address issues in specific communities.  Each COPS Team works in a particular community for 30 days, identifying key issues, speaking with community leaders and residents in the community, creating an action plan, and then presenting their findings and suggestions to Sheriff’s Office Command Staff and to the community at the end of the 30 day period.  COPS teams have been in Enka/Candler, Leicester, Swannanoa, Fairview, Barnardsville, Beaver Dam and Emma.  These teams have been instrumental in reducing overall crime rates and promoting community advocacy for the Sheriff’s Office.

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