Mineral County Jail nears re-opening

Mineral Independent | January 13, 2021 12:00 AM

For a county larger than the state of Rhode Island with 4,200 residents, a law enforcement agency will stay on its toes and its tires.

There are more dirt roads than all of the paved roads combined in Mineral County and they take a toll on any vehicle.

The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office knows this all too well.

“There was a hiccup between the continuation of the pandemic and the holiday season, but they are on their way,” is what Sheriff Mike Toth mentioned recently about the six new police cars.

These are brand, spanking new loaded vehicles with almost everything Toth wants his deputies to have for safety and precision law enforcement duties.

Interior cab-cameras are on his wish-list, but Toth is grateful for what the county commissioners and he have put together to bring the Mineral County Sheriff's Office up to the 21st century.

When asked how his first six months have gone, he made a big smile. “It’s been a challenge, a good challenge, and we have accomplished an awful lot in that amount of time. We’ve mended fences with other departments and facilities and those relationships are paying off. There is more work to be done but were trying our best and feel it’s been good stretch so far.”

Along with the brand-new patrol cars, state of the art tasers are on the belts of every deputy. An entirely new 911 Emergency Call Center is in the works. The best body cameras on the market are in use and worn by everyone wearing the uniform.

Toth stated that a deputy position has opened up and for anyone who may be interested, contact Dawn Terrill in Human Resources for an application. Post certified is preferred but anyone who is interested should look further into the position and benefits.

With the jailers hired, a promotion by Sheriff Toth was recently made with Kimberly "Kim" Crostick.

Crostick has been a Dispatcher for the last couple of years with the department and she became the Dispatch Supervisor just before Toth took his oath of office.

Her background includes being Sergeant of the Jail in Akron, Colorado and attending two different academies while in that position.

“I’m just excited to have this position as this is what I really love to do,” she said while walking through the facility that has been closed for the past two years.

She and her team will oversee 10 cells with 2 beds in each one. That does not include the holding cell so with everything combined, there are a total of 24 beds.

There will be six jailers, including herself, staffing the detention center 24 hours a day, every day with plans on opening the first of February.

Preparation is taking place now and with the new relationship with Missoula County, they will be sending some of their jail staff out to conduct the necessary 30-hour training each jailer must have as a

minimum before they can carry the keys.

Asked what she will carry for self-defense, she uses ‘verbal judo’ which is the best approach she has found over the years.

“When a prisoner enters the jail, many are already mad and amped up. Some become more agitated when they see a canister on your hip so talking them down is my preferred method, but, also having a deputy close by.”

Toth is talking with Missoula County about housing some of their overflow prisoners which is a revenue stream right off the bat.

“Other agencies have heard about us reopening and are also interested in sending some of theirs when we have openings. These are all paying customers.”

Six dispatchers and six jailers fill the necessary slots, barely. Both sectors could use one more body for wiggle room.

At this point, if anyone takes vacation, calls in sick or attends training, the schedules go into major modification. So, having one more law enforcement officer and one more detention officer would give everyone breathing room.