Sheriff’s Office records busy year in 2018



U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, left, R-Ohio, talks with Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart inside the new Star House which is currently under construction. Portman visited the jail and Star House in October 2018.

Sidney Daily News file photo

SIDNEY — The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office saw 2018 with an overall increase in calls and cases handled.

“We continued to see drugs as a factor in the majority of the crimes investigated,” said Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart. “The Office continues to strive to provide the residents of Shelby County with a professional, progressive and courteous law enforcement agency.

“In 2018 the Sheriff’s Office partnered with Mclean Township and the Village of Fort Loramie to provide a full-time deputy assigned specifically to the township and village. We also obtained a grant to establish and provide a marine patrol on Lake Loramie for 2018 and will continue that service for 2019. We also joined forces with the Botkins School District and provided a School Resource Officer to the school beginning with the 2018-2019 school year,” he said.

Lenhart’s report continues:

The operating budget for 2019 has increased to $5,025,789. With collaborated efforts of the Shelby County Commissioners and the Sheriff’s Office, we continue to strive to save valuable tax payers money. With the ever increasing operating cost, the Sheriff’s Office continues to offset some of those cost by entering into contractual services with other governmental agencies.

For 2018 the Sheriff’s Office continued contracts with the following agencies: McLean Township, village of Fort Loramie, United States Marshalls Service for the housing of Federal inmates, Federal transports, out-of-county contracts for the housing of inmates, police services with the village of Russia, patrol contract with the Shelby County Metropolitan Housing Authority, The city of Sidney inmate labor program, Ohio Department of Transportation inmate labor program, Shelby County Metropolitan Housing Authority inmate labor program, city housing of inmates, and Wilson Health for deputies assigned to the hospital. These contracts brought in a total of $1,153,002.10.

The Sheriff’s Office dispatch center logged 24,717 calls for service during 2018; this was up from 23,833 calls in 2017. We had 16,836 911 calls in 2018 up from 16,260 in 2017, we dispatched 2,173 Fire/EMS calls in 2018 down from 2,304 in 2017. We handled 660 vehicle crashes in 2018 down from 766 in 2017. Of these 660 crashes in 2018, the Sheriff’s Office handled five fatalities, this was down from six in 2017. The office made 43 adult OVI arrest in 2018 up from 36 for 2017. We issued 598 traffic citations in 2018 down from 616 in 2017. The office handled 909 criminal cases with 355 criminal arrests in 2018.

The SORN office supervised 133 sexual adult offenders, six juvenile offenders and five arson offenders. The SORN Deputy filed against nine offenders for registration violations. The deputy assigned to this department handled all of the supervision of the offenders to include their required reporting and the verification of assigned addresses.

In 2018 the Shelby County Animal Shelter took in a total of 651 dogs. Of these dogs, 386 were claimed by their owners and 210 were adopted. Based on these numbers, 91.5 percent of our population were reunited or found new homes for the 2018 year. The Animal Shelter is supervised by the Sheriff’s Office.

The Shelby County jail had an average daily population of 166 for 2018. Total number of inmates incarcerated in 2018 was 2,089. The following is a breakdown of arrest by agency; Municipal Court, 164; Common Pleas Court, 73; Ohio State Patrol, 12; Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 780; Sidney Police Department, 682; Village Police Departments, 36; Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 2; and Adult Parole, 7.

In 2018 we started a new visitation process in the jail, where we brought on HomeWav video visitation. This program is funded by the inmates using the system and generates revenue for the office. The Sheriff’s Office continued to conduct various jail programs, such as paid visitation, fresh favorites, E-cigarettes, whole pizza, work release program, commissary, Securus Phone system and the new video visitation. All of these programs are an incentive for good behavior. The total revenue generated by these programs was $286,626.55

With the increase of the jail population and Federal inmates, we added a third transport deputy toward the end of 2018 for the jail to keep up with the increasing amount of daily transports.

The Sheriff’s Office continued the DARE program, which the DARE Deputy teaches DARE at all the County schools, Christian Academy and Holy Angels, where a total of 20 fifth-grade classes were taught with a total of 418 Fifth grade students graduating from the DARE program. The DARE Deputy also taught after school programs at the Salvation Army, taught summer programs in Jackson Center, Botkins, Hardin-Houston and the city of Sidney, with a total of 261 youth participating in these outreach programs. Conducted three DARE Camps during three separate weeks at Lake Loramie, where a total of 167 students participated. Had a drug and alcohol prevention display at the Shelby County Fair, where over 1000 spectators visited the Sheriff’s Office Command Center. Organized the donation of and delivery of Thanksgiving meals for three families and attended various other community events during the year.

In 2018 the Sheriff’s Office added a new K-9 team, with the addition of Deputy Rod Robbins and Yago. Deputy Robbins and Yago join the team of Deputy Frank Bleigh and Colt, which brings our K-9 units for the Office to two K-9 teams. With the continued support of our County Commissioner’s we were able to add an additional Deputy to our Road Patrol, additional Dispatcher to our Dispatch Center, updating our County Wide radio system, and Sheriff’s Office/Jail roof upgrade. We would like to thank the Commissioner’s for their continued support.

We continue to strive to protect our youth by having school safety officers at all Sidney City Schools and Deputy SRO’s at Anna, Houston, Fairlawn and Botkins schools. We also taught “ALICE” to employees at many area businesses, county departments and continued updated training at all the schools.

We are looking forward to 2019, with the opening of the STAR house and the new Animal Shelter.

It is a pleasure and honor serving as your Sheriff; we are looking forward to making 2019 a safe, supportive and prosperous year for all residents and visitors of Shelby County.


U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, left, R-Ohio, talks with Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart inside the new Star House which is currently under construction. Portman visited the jail and Star House in October 2018. Sen. Rob Portman, left, R-Ohio, talks with Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart inside the new Star House which is currently under construction. Portman visited the jail and Star House in October 2018. Sidney Daily News file photo