Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson has had a great deal on his plate during his second term in office. He said Thursday he looks forward to a third term, if elected, and plans to qualify next week to run. Anderson is a Republican.
The Bulloch County Jail expansion is drawing to a close, and took some "long term planning and a year and a half to build," he said. But now instead of having to pay to house inmates elsewhere, Bulloch County will be paid by other agencies to house their prisoners, thus bringing in money instead of costing the county taxpayers.
"We hope to add more jailers and deputies," he said. And patrol car cameras and equipment are in the works for an upgrade.
The Child Identification program has " taken off," he said. With over 1,000 children served last year, the program is off to a great start his year with over 500 children already registered, he said. "This is a free service to our community" and works to protect and locate a child if he or she is lost or abducted.
The Bulloch County Sheriff's Office still has an active DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program with two officers, he said.
But the improvement Anderson is most excited about is the formation of a nursing station in the jail, including a full time nursing staff, that significantly reduces the cost of medical attention for inmates.
Taking inmates to the emergency room for every ache and pain is costly, and having a nursing station drastically reduces the trips, he said. "A doctor comes in once a week," and the nurses dispense medications as well as give blood tests, conduct electrocardiograms, take cultures and other services "that will save money," he said.
Often inmates will complain of illnesses that could be treated in house, and having a nursing station fills that need, Anderson said. "We were making 20 to 30s trips a week to the hospital, and we've already seen a huge decrease."
Of course, inmates needing hospital attention are still transported, he said.
Anderson, as well as anyone else wishing to qualify for the sheriff's position, will pay a $2,270.25 qualifying fee. Qualifying begins Monday.