Decatur County Sheriff’s Department 2023 Annual Report

Sheriff Bill Meyerrose said, “The staff at the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department is second to none.” He went on to say that the Administrative Division does an exceptional job handling the day-to-day operations of the finances, the staff working in the Detention Center are very passionate about caring for the residents there, and the Patrol Division works hard every day to make Decatur County a safe place to live, work, and play. Sheriff Meyerrose also said that Decatur County is a community that is very law enforcement friendly and for that, he is extremely grateful.

The Chief Deputy is Eric Blodgett. He comes from a family that has long served Decatur County in law enforcement. After high school, he served four years in the United States Air Force and then came back home to serve his community. He has worked for both the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department and the Greensburg Police Department.

The Administrative Division is led by Supervisor Ashley Wilson. There are three full-time employees and one part-time employee. This division is responsible for all things related to office work with additional duties such as Commissary, Fingerprinting, and Inventory Ordering. This department also oversees the Sex and Violent Offender Registry. Supervisor Ashley also works with two deputies who assist her with home checks for those who are on the Sex and Violent Offender Registry. 

The Detention Center Division is led by Jail Commander Mike Eggleston. The Detention Center currently has 242 beds including all beds within the facility. In 2023 there were 1360 admissions with 965 of those being male arrests, and 395 being female arrests. The top three charges for the county in 2023 were Traffic Offense, Marijuana Possession, and Warrant Arrest. 

The Detention Center utilizes RFID technology by issuing admitted individuals with wristbands that keep the inmate’s information within the wristband. This allows Detention Deputies to scan the wristband and can have the inmate’s special needs such as medications, special food requirements, assigned housing, and special hygiene products delivered and picked up. 24-hour video coverage is utilized throughout the facility except for the individual cell in the eight main cell blocks and this is due to allowing inmates their constitutional right to privacy. 

The Decatur County Detention Center provides a range of free and reduced free services to inmates. This includes medical, dental, mental health, and health insurance (sign-up), Behavioral Therapy, high school equivalency education, bible studies, and other faith-based services. In 2023 Southern Health Partners was contracted to provide medical and healthcare services to include 40 hours per week of onsite nursing services and 24/7 on-call support. Dental health care is provided by the Community Health Care Clinic and is staffed by Dr. Noles of Greensburg. The Detention Center allows members of the clergy to visit inmates. 

Programs provided at the Decatur County Detention Center are not requirements of incarceration and are all voluntary. Programs include Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT), Residents Encounter Christ (REC), HSE/GED Courses, AA Meetings, and Work Release. Starting in 2024 inmates will be offered employment workshops, and have the opportunity to participate in construction training courses.

The Decatur County Detention Center is staffed by 29 full-time staff members. When needed former detention deputies are available on a part-time basis to help provide adequate staffing. During 2023, fourteen detention deputies left Decatur County employment, two did return shortly after leaving. One was hired by a neighboring county, and two were terminated for missing scheduled shifts, and eleven left for better opportunities or more money. 

The Patrol Division is led by Lieutenant Rob Goodfellow. The Decatur County Sheriff’s Department currently has two shifts, one is led by Sergeant John Organist and the other by Sergeant Patrick Graue. Each shift currently also has a Corporal, those being Corporal Logan Wilder and Corporal Pat Richards. To fill those two shifts the sheriff’s department currently has ten patrol deputies. The county also has one K-9 deputy. The county has one detective Lieutenant Jean Burkert. Also employed at the Sheriff’s Department is one transport deputy. On April 21, 2023, Deputies Austin Petro and Curt Harry graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, which brought the department to be fully staffed. 

The Sheriff’s Department provides courthouse security and is led by Sergeant Richard Underhill. Two full-time and two part-time deputies assist with courthouse security and security in courtroom duties.

The Sheriff’s Department is proud that they participate in additional training that is more than what is required of Sheriff’s departments. In June 2023 the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department took part in an active shooter training with several other departments at the Greensburg Elementary School.

In 2023 the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department participated in Emergency Vehicle Operations. During this training, County Road 200 West between West Base Road and Vandalia Road was closed for several days to allow for the practice of the department’s driving skills.

At the beginning of 2023, one of the priorities was the purchase of body cameras for Patrol Deputies and Detention Deputies who handle transports. The American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds were utilized to purchase the cameras for a purchase price of $125,000. The cameras were active as of March 2023. Towards the end of 2023, a grant was found that would pay for the majority of the cost of dash cameras for patrol vehicles. The total cost of the dash cameras was $225,000 The grant paid $196,000. The Sheriff’s Department will pay the difference over four years, interest-free. The date of going live with these cameras is estimated to be early April 2024.

The department is proud to be a part of the community and they participated in several events throughout the year. One of the events that the department participated in was Corporal Pat Richards who provided a gun-safety class during Ag Days at the fairgrounds.

Something that the Sheriff’s Department requires is that all day shift Deputies on day shift stop into one of the Decatur County School buildings each day during their shift. School safety is one of the department’s top priorities.

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