Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher clarified the word “sheriff” is a derivative of “shires” who were the law enforcement officers of the 1200’s. The sheriff in any jurisdiction is “always elected with authority granted by the people.”
The sheriff indicated his job would be so much easier if he didn’t have to oversee the jail. Purgatory Correctional Facility is a 500-bed facility with inmates classified as Level 3-5 (5 being the ones whose crimes are more “dumb” than seriously criminal). Currently PCF has 165 employees (for which he had a full comtingency for FTE’s for “about two weeks” in his entire 6 ½ years in office).
The sheriff noted he has an “excellent working relationship with other agencies in Washington County – a favorable circumtance which does not exist anywhere else.”
The WCSO is organized into the following divisions:
The Corrections Division is responsible for functions related to the operation of Purgatory Correctional Facility. The Corrections Division includes the Corrections Chief Deputy (a.k.a., Jail Commander), corrections lieutenants, corrections sergeants, corrections deputies, and other correctional staff as determined by the Sheriff.
The Emergency Services Division is responsible for preparing for, monitoring, and responding to natural and man-made disasters and events. The Emergency Services Division includes the Emergency Services Director, Search and Rescue staff, and other staff as determined by the Sheriff.
The Patrol Division is responsible for responding to citizen calls for assistance, patrolling Washington County, investigating traffic accidents, taking initial reports, criminal investigations, court security, and other law enforcement functions. The Patrol Division includes the Patrol Chief Deputy, patrol lieutenants, patrol sergeants, patrol deputies, and other patrol staff as determined by the Sheriff.
Sheriff Pulsipher reported:
· the formation of a Metro-SWAT team working alongside the St. George SWAT team.
· 80% of incarcerations are related to drug use
· it has been 3 years since a marijuana grow has been discovered in Washington County
· Heroine is a huge problem in Washington County
· The sheriff’s office has access to a data base which enables them to check the legal status of those they arrest
· All employers are required to e-Verify applicants.
· There are approximately 400 gang members identified in Washington County but no areas as yet designated as “gang turf.”
· Housing costs at PCF are $71 per day/per inmate or about $17.6 million annually.