COLUMBUS, Kan. — The “Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office” is looking back at last year’s statistics to better prepare for 2023.

The Communications Dispatch Center kept busy all of 2022. Sheriff Groves says they are vital to the operations of all first responders.

“Dispatch is really the hub of any law enforcement agency. They’re the first call that people make, and they do a really hard job behind the scenes and anymore, everybody’s got cell phones. So particularly when there’s just an immediate influx of calls and information coming in, and they do a great job behind the scenes of coordinating the appropriate response, whether that’s law enforcement, fire, EMS, medical helicopter, or whatever the resources are needed to get those resources to the scene and in a rapid amount of time,” said David Groves, Cherokee County Sheriff.

Sheriff Groves insists that people take photos of their valuable items to give officers that extra resource in case it’s stolen.

“In 2022 we saw a 50% decrease in burglaries throughout the county and while that’s good, we still want to encourage residents to take measures to mitigate the likelihood that the property gets burglarized, or if a theft does occur, that law enforcement has some additional avenues to locate and recover that property and return it back to the proper owners,” said Groves.

For almost 20 years, the county has housed inmates for other jurisdictions. Last year, those agreements resulted in more than $479,000 more than the $77,000 more in 2021, which officials say will benefit the citizens of Cherokee County.

“It was built at a capacity level greater than what our local need is, with the understanding that we would be housing out-of-county inmates, and we’ve got great partnerships with Sedwick County and now Quapaw Tribal Marshals down in Oklahoma to house their inmates. They have an overflow of inmates so we’re able to meet their needs and that comes at a financial benefit for citizens of Cherokee County,” said Groves.

This year, Groves says they’re focusing on strengthening their relationship with the community.

“There are several things that we want to focus on, and that’s continuing to strengthen our already great partnership with the community. That’s really key to success it has to be the citizens and law enforcement working together to keep our community safe,” said Groves.