Sheriff Patrick Ray's first days on the job have been busy.
In a meeting with the local news media Friday, Sheriff Ray says he has already begun some investigations and is in the process of making his administration more accessible to the public. \"We've got a drug problem here and we're going to work on the drugs. That's one of the first things we're going to do. We're also going to work on the burglaries and thefts here. We've been getting in a few theft reports today and we'll be working on those. As a matter of fact, I've already got some people working on them now.\"
\"One of my campaign promises was to have an open door policy to the public. I want everybody to know they are welcome to come in and talk to me or call on the phone if they need to get in touch with me. We're here for the people. We answer all calls and are ready to help everybody the best that we can do.\"
\"We started early this morning (Friday) doing the cleanup behind the jail. We're doing an inventory of the jail today and an inventory of the seized vehicles out back. We'll be having a sale here pretty quick to get rid of some of these vehicles. I'm working with County Mayor Mike Foster in trying to find a place to tow our seized vehicles. We'll be keeping the area behind the jail mowed and cleaned up.\"
\"Here in front of the jail, we've taken down a temporary partition that was up. We want the public to feel like they're invited to come in and talk to the staff or to me.\"
Sheriff Ray says he plans to have inmates working under supervision picking up roadside litter and they will possibly work some at schools when children aren't present or maybe at the landfill, but don't expect them to work on patrol cars. \"I don't agree with the philosophy of letting inmates work on vehicles. If I put somebody in jail for something, I would not want them putting brakes on my patrol car or any of my guy's patrol cars. We'll be using local businesses to do most of the work.\"
Ray says he plans to start a Senior Safe program soon. \" One of the first programs that I want to start is my Senior program. As I was going around the county (during the campaign), I talked with a lot of seniors who live by themselves or have some kind of physical disability. We'll be starting that program pretty quick. What we will need is their names, addresses, and phone numbers. We'll also need to know if they have any kind of disability. One of my employees will make daily checks on them to make sure they're okay.\"
Don Adamson will be Ray's Chief Deputy. \"Don has law enforcement experience in his background. When I went and talked to him about taking the position of Chief Deputy here, he was a School Resource Officer in Wilson County. He agreed to come on board and I'm proud to have him. Don will be accessible to the public and if anybody wants to talk to him, they will be able to call or come and see him.\"
\"I've made out a schedule for my deputies. A 12 hour shift schedule, rotating weekends. We have two people on days, two on nights, and a swing shift person. All these people will work together in the department. In the jail, the previous administration had two jailers on but we have four on. We're full capacity on correctional officers and we also have a good staff of qualified deputies.\"
Sheriff Ray again stresses that his office door will always be open and if you have any questions or concerns, drug tips, or information, you may call 597-4935 or come by and see him at the DeKalb County Jail.