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Letter To Hempstead County Residents From Sheriff Singleton

By Staff, 01/3/17 6:46 PM

imageHOPE – In an open letter to the citizens of Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton wrote Tuesday:

I am humbled and honored to be sworn in as Sheriff and Collector for a fourth term this morning. I thank each and every one for your confidence and support of the office of the Sheriff for the past six years.

We have accomplished much during the past six years and have much more to accomplish in the next few years. We operated within our budget and were able to improve our equipment through several grants.

One of the major accomplishments of our office is that during the last two years we presented a plan to the Quorum Court to raise the Deputies’ salary from $24,700 to $30,000. A voluntary tax for Certified Law Enforcement deputies salaries raised over $25,000 in its first year and with that we were able to give deputies longevity pay based on the number of years they have served the citizens of Hempstead County and have it count toward retirement. Although the $30,000 salary is still one of the lowest in Southwest Arkansas for Certified Deputies, it is a beginning and we will constantly continue to work towards improving the salaries of our Certified Deputies.

Prior to that we were able to get a Certificate Pay Plan that allows deputies to improve their education and get rewarded in the form of certificate pay which depending on education and time of service could allow deputies to add as much as $75.00 a month per certificate for a total of five. This was approved by the Arkansas Law Enforcement Commission Standards and training and could be worth as much as $3,700 extra a year for deputies that qualify.

We also have built an office addition of approximately 17,000 square feet to provide offices, an interview room, and a conference room with allow the deputies to perform their duties in a more affective manner. We have taken advantage of government surplus property such as firearms, all-terrain vehicles and other items for a very small fee.

In the jail we continue to get rave reviews from Jail Standards on the operation and cleanliness of our facility. We have added video first appearance and video visitation to our facility. The video first appearance allows us to have an inmate appear from the confines of the jail to the Judge wherever he may be, thus reducing movement of inmates outside the facility and providing a safer environment for the officers and the public. The video visitation system allows inmates to visit family and friends from their cells over the Internet saving time and travel for the inmates family and again reducing the movement of inmates inside the facility. We were able to obtain a grant to pay for an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) which allows us to be connected directly to the Arkansas State Police and FBI. Once a person’s fingerprint is taken at our facility, it is automatically uploaded to the State and Federal Systems, allowing for proper identification within minutes.

We have an outstanding professional team of Criminal Investigation personnel who work tirelessly to solve cases and bring individuals who have committed crimes to justice. It is my sincere commitment to continue to have honest, professional, trained and dedicated deputies to serve our county. Please continue to lift them and their families up in prayer as they report for duty every day.

May GOD Bless the Citizens of Hempstead County and may GOD continue to bless the United States of America.

“IN GOD WE TRUST”

Sheriff James A. Singleton

Hempstead County, Arkansas

 

 

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