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By Marlana Smith
Shelby County Sheriff Arron Fredrickson has completed his first year serving the county.
“To tell you the truth, I am having a blast as the Sheriff of Shelby County,” Fredrickson said.
Fredrickson acknowledges his deputies and dispatchers who keep things running smoothly and are knowledgeable, not afraid of hard work and know how to get things done.
“Bosses or leaders are only as good as the people they surround themselves with,” Fredrickson continued, “I can honestly say with confidence, I have an amazing staff.”
Fredrickson admits the transition from Chief Deputy to Sheriff was not as difficult as he expected due to previous Sheriff Dennis Perrigo’s continued assistance and support.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has made some changes which have ended in good results.
For the jail, the SCSO was able to implement a commissary system to give each inmate an equal opportunity to obtain extra items (food, clothes, hygiene products, etc.) not provided by the Shelby County Jail.
A new phone system was purchased to allow remote video calling for inmates whose families are unable to travel for jail visits. Due to this video visiting the Sheriff’s Office was able to keep up the visits during any and all COVID related issues, because it is remote.
“This phone system allows all inmates access to a full legal library to help them understand their rights and the charges against them and help them in their defense,” Fredrickson said.
Over the course of the 2021 year, Fredrickson applied for and was awarded several grants. These grants provided highway safety equipment for the deputies, supplemental pay for the deputies, new radios and in-car repeaters (ordered, not yet installed), etc.
Most, if not all the items received due to the grants, were to replace broken, damaged, or out-of-date equipment or establish new equipment the Sheriff’s Office would otherwise not be able to afford with the normal budget.
A few of the items the SCSO was able to purchase with the 2021 budget were, all new tasers, body cameras, radar and some used computers for in-car usage.
“All of these items have helped every deputy be more efficient and transparent in
their dealings with the public,” said Fredrickson.
In 2021, the SCSO was able to fill two-road deputy positions by sending Caleb Barton and Caleb Brown to the academy. They graduated from Law Enforcement Training Institute-MU Campus, Columbia (LETI) in August 2021 and are currently serving the community.
“Another blessing our office has is the Shelbina Police Department under the leadership of Shelbina City Marshal Chief Jeff Brown and the Clarence Police Department under the leadership of Chief Raymond Barton who have stepped up and worked well with all of my guys,” Fredrickson added.
“All three of the law enforcement agencies in Shelby County work well together and I don’t see that changing.”
Fredrickson hopes to continue to expand the SCSO’s ability to serve the community in any way possible in 2022. The Sheriff’s Office continues to seek out grants and other avenues to better equip the deputies and deter crime in every area of the county.
The SCSO could use more funds but will use what they have and do their jobs to the fullest.
Fredrickson said officer and community safety and maintaining and upgrading their equipment are just some of the biggest goals in 2022.
According to the SCSO’s Lawman CAD System (logging program), in 2020 the department responded to 813 calls for service. In 2021, the SCSO responded to over 2,000 calls for service. Those calls for service ranged from thefts, traffic crashes, traffic stops, animals at large, check well-being, paper service, assist agency, warrant arrest, drug arrest, etc.
“Responding and taking care of the victims of any situation is the utmost priority of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office,” Fredrickson said.
“ I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Sheriff of Shelby County, thank you.”