By Jennifer Moonsong
Metcalfe and Barren
2021 was another busy year at the Metcalfe County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
Sheriff Hodges and the deputies responded to a total of 2,849 calls for service. That includes working 159 car crashes, issuing 713 total citations, serving 125 arrest warrants, assisting 131 motorists, opening 96 criminal cases, and 350 criminal arrests. Those arrests included 29 arrests for DUI and 85 drug arrests that resulted in approximately $7,000 worth of methamphetamine being seized. The MCSO also made a significant cash seizure in 2021 related to drug offenses. The MCSO also served 450 legal processes, conducted 475 vehicle inspections, and issued 186 CCW permits.
Last Year’s Accomplishments
As far as 2021 accomplishments go, Sheriff Hodges says he is most proud of the completion of the evidence room, and having it fully operational.
“With the assistance from Judge/Executive Harold Stilts and all the magistrates, the MCSO has an evidence room that any agency would be proud of,” Hodges said.
Every piece of evidence is meticulously cataloged, utilizing software that places barcodes on all items to ensure all evidence is accounted for throughout the criminal prosecution.
On January 8, 2019, while Hodges was serving as Chief Deputy to Sheriff Ricky Brooks, he addressed the Metcalfe County Fiscal Court about the need for an evidence room.
“The building has no evidence room, no evidence storage, no evidence control for criminal cases, so you’re dead in the water when you initiate a criminal case,” he said, in 2019.
“Thanks to the assistance of Fiscal Court, the MCSO evidence room is fully operational, and will now serve the county for decades to come,” Hodges said.
Also in 2021, new mobile data terminals (MDTs) were installed in each of the patrol vehicles. These MDTs allow the Sheriff and the deputies to have access to driver’s license files, warrants, Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs), and Domestic Violence Orders (DVOs), and all the forms utilized for law enforcement inside their patrol vehicle. This allows deputies to remain in the field more while executing their duties.
Another major function of the Sheriff’s Office is tax collection. In 2021 Sheriff Hodges upgraded the clerk’s computers and the county’s tax collection software. The software was upgraded to be more compatible with the Metcalfe County PVA Office, as well as more user friendly. Citizens now have the option for taxpayers to pay online or with a credit card while in the office.
Last but not least, the MCSO added a Firearms Instructor, as Deputy Jarrod Steele completed the Firearms Instructor Course win 2021.
Three Year Overview
Sheriff Hodges gathered data to include clearance rates for reported crimes for the three years since he has been leading the MCSO. This data shows over the course of the past three years, the clearance rates for various crimes in Metcalfe County well exceed the national average.
When it comes to burglary and theft the MCSO average a 61% clearance rate, far exceeding the national rate of approximately 15%.
Stolen properties cases have a clearance rate of 92%, and vandalism has a clearance rate of 76%. Sheriff Hodges states that the data reflects the MCSO’s commitment to investigate any theft-related crime.
Goals for 2022
With 2022 already underway, Sheriff Hodges has set specific goals for the remainder of the year. In mid-2021, two patrol deputies resigned to seek other employment.
“It is my primary goal in 2022 to increase manpower. It is vital for the office to add additional road deputies that are both competent and professional. I believe this can be accomplished while working with the budget restraints of the county,” he said. He added he has been able to end each fiscal year under budget since he has been leading the MCSO.
Another goal for 2022 is to add new vehicles to the fleet. In 2021 alone, the Sheriff and his deputies traveled approximately 70,000 miles answering calls for service to serve the citizens of Metcalfe County.
“It is also my plan to purchase Tasers, patrol rifles, and service weapons that will be owned by this agency,” Hodges said. At this time, deputies are utilizing their own weapons while on duty. The deputies are currently carrying Tasers on loan from the Glasgow Police Department (GPD). The Tasers were part of GPD’s surplus property and the software is currently obsolete.
“It is my belief that we can do this with little to no expense to the taxpayer, using monies from seizures and available grants,” he said.
Fighting drug trafficking will continue.
“We will continue to address drug offenses in the same manner. We will continue utilizing both covert and overt methods to bring drug traffickers to justice, with the focus being on Schedule I narcotics,” said Hodges.
“I want the public to know that although they don’t always see what goes on with drug enforcement, they can be assured that we work at it every day. Much of this work is covert in nature, and I am utilizing our agency’s resources, as well as partnerships with other agencies. These operations will come to fruition in the future.”
The Sheriff added he has been fortunate enough in his career with the Kentucky State Police to develop working relationships with federal and state agencies. “These partnerships have been a great benefit to Metcalfe County,” said Hodges.
In conclusion, the MCSO will continue to serve the needs of the county’s citizens 24/7 in 2022.
Hodges said, “The deputies and myself look at this as far more than an occupation. This is a lifetime of experience that we put to work for the people of Metcalfe County every day.”