MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – 2019 was a year of change and growth for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. It was Ron Puckett’s first year as sheriff and deputies arrested and booked nearly 200 more people than 2018.
Morgan County has had a tough crackdown on drugs this past year. But deputies said they’ve had an even bigger impact using preventative policing.
Wednesday, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office released the numbers on disturbance calls, safety and compliance checks in 2019.
More than 36,000 calls came into the sheriff’s office in the past year, but one type stood out.
“Domestic occurrences are usually high. I think we had over 700, short 800 of those,” said Mike Swafford, spokesperson for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said those are some of the most difficult situations to diffuse.
“The biggest thing, especially in the moment, it can definitely dangerous, emotions are high, anger levels.”
Preventative calls were also on the rise for the county.
“We responded to residential and business alarms, 407 residential alarms we responded to last year,” Swafford added. “Burglaries in progress. One of the big things, 2300 reports of suspicious persons or suspicious vehicles.”
The sheriff’s office said some of those nearly 37,000 calls, led to arrests in the county.
Just over 9,200 inmates were booked into the Morgan County Jail in 2019. Nearly the same amount of inmates were released from jail last year.
The daily inmate population average was about 603 inmates, but the jail’s capacity is nearly 1000.
In 2020, the sheriff’s office said it wants to work on getting you the help you need faster.
“In 2019, we were able to increase our patrol shifts so that each rotation, each shift that’s on had more bodies,” said Swafford.
With that increase, deputies took hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs off the streets in the past year.
Sheriff Puckett said he aims to make sure he hires individuals who are dedicated to keeping everyone safe.