Sheriff works to put department in better shape

| September 9, 2020 12:00 AM

New Sheriff Mike Toth was appointed by the Mineral County Commissioners and sworn into office Aug. 3 and he has been hoofing it since then.

“It feels really good because of so much support from the residents and staff. It’s a good challenge and it’s been great getting to know the guys (deputies) and it’s plain to see that we have a very good team. Now we just need to hire our jail staff.”

Re-opening the Mineral County Jail has been his No. 1 priority and with crunching numbers, six people will be hired with a starting wage of $15 per hour.

This includes 100% free medical care, retirement, vacation and other benefits that have turned these positions into nice packages as these actually start a career in law enforcement.

Those already working in the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office department have received raises and Toth reports that morale is high.

“You’ll see this department returning to community involvement,” Toth said.

He has assigned one deputy to attend the monthly Child Protective Services meetings and another will be attending the Healthy Community Coalition meetings.

Uniforms are no longer black T-shirts but collared dress shirts with all department members proudly displaying the coveted shoulder patch depicting a sunburst over George Gildersleeve’s shoulder with the miner bent over his gold pan and his cigar in his mouth.

The Gildersleeve mine up Cedar Creek remains a popular destination with wonderful history of fortitude, grit and strong backbone.

Six brand new patrol cars decked out with a new design and the full-blown police packages are about to be ordered. These are on a lease-to-own with factory warranty and a no-mileage limit.

“The maintenance on these current cars alone is killing us,” reported Toth worked the deal out with the commissioners as it makes too much sense not to go this direction.

“The horror stories I’ve heard about what we’ve been driving will be a thing of the past.”

New tasers are being negotiated as the current ones are so obsolete that parts are no longer available. That’s the same story with the body cameras. Between drug forfeiture money and assistance form the Mineral County DUI Task Force, these will be replaced at no cost to the taxpayers.

Ellen Donohue, Mineral County Attorney, was brought into the discussion and she saw how much better these will be for collecting video/evidence.

The 3-ring binder of Policies and Procedures is going digital so when new ones are adopted, they immediately go to every officer’s Smart Phone rather than having them read them when they hear a new one has been developed.

Officers will respond to every call from this point on. Before, if the infraction was minor, a telephone call would suffice for the information and report.

“Tell everyone you know about the positions we have at the jail. We want to get this opened back up as soon as we’re staffed,” Toth said with a smile.