During his campaign for Sheriff in 2016, Sheriff Runion committed to providing the Citizens of Miller County with a professional Law Enforcement Agency that was responsive to their needs, and with one that was tough on crime. At the same time, he committed to operating a safe, secure, and financially viable300-bed detention facility.
“In just my first year in office, I believe I can demonstrate that I kept my word. In order to accomplish those goals, here are a few of the things that I did to keep my commitment to you.”
Warden Jeffie Walker came from the Texas Department of Corrections where she served in a variety of roles that prepared her to manage the 300-inmate facility in Miller County. Since her employment, they have had no significant safety or security issues in the jail, and have simultaneously put new security and operational policies and procedures in place, and increased billing from the Arkansas Department of Corrections and the United States Marshal’s Service for housing prisoners in the facility. Those funds assist in funding operations of the Detention Center by reducing the financial obligation to the Citizens of Miller County.
The Chief Deputy comes with 30 years of law enforcement experience from the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department and the State of Arkansas. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, served as the Operations Commander for the Uniform Patrol and Criminal Investigation Divisions of the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department and served as the Commander of the Texarkana Metro SWAT Unit.
CID Commander, Alan Keller is a long-time employee of the Miller County Sheriff’s Department, having served as a Supervisor with the Uniform Patrol Division, a Supervisor with the Criminal Investigation Division, and as an Investigator with the Bi-State Narcotics Task Force. He has served as a member of the joint Bi-State Narcotics Task Force / Federal Bureau of Investigation Task Force.
Administrative Assistant, Tammy Butler is an extremely experienced and versatile employee of the Miller County Sheriff’s Office. Tammy continues to coordinate all the administrative functions of the Sheriff’s Office with other County Departments as well as the many vendors who support their daily operations
Since taking office in January of 2017, under Runion’s leadership, the Miller County Sheriff’s Department has significantly increased the number of Felony Arrests for crimes committed against the Citizens of Miller County over previous years.
In his first year alone;
Breaking and Entering Arrests are up over 500%
Burglary Arrests are up over 200%
Thefts of Property Arrests are up over 140%
Possessions of Controlled Substances (Drugs) arrests are up over 120%
Those statistics came from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office based on the total number of criminal cases submitted for prosecution, not from statistics maintained by the Miller County Sheriff’s Office.
Runion’s agency remains committed to being responsive to the Citizens of Miller County.
” We’re being seen more in rural areas, we’re immediately conducting professional criminal investigations when crimes are reported, and we’re being proactive with respect to the identification and arrest of offenders in Miller County. We’re not interested in telling our Citizens what we CAN’T DO. We’re interested in showing them what we CAN DO.”
A couple of examples of demonstrating what Runion said they can do are the following:
Continued pro-active approach with major drug arrests made by patrol deputies out in the county. Recently several arrests were made and nearly one pound of methamphetamine was taken off the street. In a separate incident a quantity of Methamphetamine and a large amount of cash was seized.
They received a report of the theft of approximately $145,000.00 in Farm Equipment on a Sunday afternoon from a Citizen of Miller County. Both the Uniform Patrol Division and the Criminal Investigation Division immediately responded. Within 48 hours, over $140,000.00 worth of the property had been recovered, and the suspect was residing in the Miller County Jail.
MCSO received a report of a juvenile making a threat of violence against other students at an area school. Within 12 hours, both School Officials and Parents were notified, and the suspect was residing in the Miller County Juvenile Detention Center.
“These are not exceptions, they are the rule,” said Runion. “At my direction, the Uniform Patrol Division routinely patrols all areas of Miller County.”
All Divisions of the Miller County Sheriff’s Office respond and react to calls for service in a timely, professional. That is demonstrated by the overwhelming increase in the number of arrests for crimes committed against Citizens of Miller County.
MCSO is proactive in their schools. They have full time deputies assigned to the Fouke and Genoa School Districts. Officers take the safety and security of our students, teachers, and administrators seriously. They have participated in, and conducted countless hours of training in both Fouke and Genoa, involving students, teachers and administrators.
MCSO has initiated a program of disseminating electronic Crime Briefing Reports to all members of the Miller County Sheriff’s Office. When a Deputy reports for duty, he has immediate access to a report that contains all the pertinent information that has occurred since they last worked.
They initiated a program whereby Deputies can submit their Offense Reports to the Sheriff’s Office from the field. They can now electronically submit their reports for review, approval, and immediate assignment to the Criminal Investigation Division.
Also, Runion and MCSO have fielded new equipment to our Deputies, including new M-4 Patrol Rifles equipped with holographic sight systems, conducting formal classroom and firing range training on all the new weapon systems.
In my first year, the Miller County Sheriff’s Department came in UNDER BUDGET in spite of the new training and equipment that was put into place. Some of that new equipment includes new Handguns and New M-4 Patrol Rifles and Holographic Optics.
I worked diligently with my staff to replace capital equipment necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the Miller County Detention Center. All of those capital items were purchased through the fiscal management of the existing budget. Some of the capital items purchased include;
2 Commercial Dryers
2 Commercial Ovens
LiveScan Fingerprint System
Operating an organization that is responsible for providing Professional Law Enforcement Services to Citizens in an area that encompasses 650 square miles, and operating a 300 bed Detention Center is an expensive proposition. I am committed to operating my organization in a prudent, professional manner, working within my established budget to provide the Citizens with the services and security that they rightly deserve, while undertaking efforts to curb costs where I can without exposing my personnel and the Citizens of Miller County to undue risks.
Here’s a first quarter snapshot of my 2018 Detention Center Operation;
My 2018 Detention Center Budget is $2,974,375.00. In the time frame January thru April 2018, Detention Center Income is at $1,036,257.00 while my Detention Center Budget for the same time frame is at $991,458.00. That reflects a surplus of $45,000.00 for the first four months of 2018.
In my first year, I committed to providing my Deputies with Quality, Beneficial Training to help equip them to do their jobs. Some of that training included;
- Patrol Rifle Training. I issued each Patrol Deputy and CID Investigator a new M-4 Patrol Rifle with Holographic Sight Systems. Each Deputy spent hours in the classroom prior to spending hours on the range firing approximately 450 rounds downrange. Each Deputy was required to demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of rifle handling, maintenance, multiple shooting positions, transition from handgun to rifle, and malfunction drills before being certified to carry the weapon.
- 4th Amendment Training. Each Deputy spent hours in the classroom receiving advanced instruction on all aspects of Search and Seizure, Probable Cause, Report Writing, and basic Field Investigation.
- Drug Update Training. Each Deputy spent additional hours in the classroom receiving advanced instruction on changes to Arkansas Law regarding the manufacture, distribution, and sale of Controlled Substances (Drugs).
- Field Training on Drug Detection / Interdiction. Each Patrol Deputy is in the process of receiving hands on training on the Detection and Interdiction of drugs in Miller County. The Deputies are working with recognized experts in the field of Drug Detection / Interdiction, including additional training on the legality of such searches. My Deputies will transfer that knowledge to our County Roads when they have completed the training cycle.
- Basic Law Enforcement Specialized / Reserve Academy.
The Miller County Sheriff’s Office is three weeks away from completing the 1st Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy to be held in Miller County. I am using the training and experience of my personnel, while simultaneously reaching out to other field experts including Prosecutors, Judges, and other Law Enforcement Professionals to bring the most competent instructors available to bring their real-life experiences to the table. The personnel, upon successful completion of the course will be Certified Specialized or Reserve Law Enforcement Officers who will have the legal authority to serve in an Armed Capacity, enforcing Arkansas Law at the direction of an agency supervisor. Several members of the Miller County Detention Center are participating in the course, and upon completion will provide Armed Law Enforcement Prisoner Escort Duties. Those transports include the transport of Felony Prisoners to medical facilities for treatment, or for the transport of Felony Prisoners to other maximum-security facilities in our region. Those missions currently require me to assign a Patrol Deputy to perform those duties.
All those training courses were conducted at NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE CITIZENS OF MILLER COUNTY. All it took was the planning, dedication, and commitment of my organization to accomplish the training tasks. With the exception of 4 blocks of instruction in the Basic Academy, all the other training was accomplished by utilizing Competent and Certified Instructors from the Miller County Sheriff’s Office.
All that additional training will lead to more professional service to the Citizens of Miller County, WHICH REMAINS MY CORE COMMITMENT TO YOU.
We will continue to provide beneficial and realistic training to our Deputies, which will result in an even higher level of professional services being provided to the residents of Miller County.
In 2017 I directed my Deputies to be more visible in all areas of Miller County. We are more accessible to our Citizens, and are more responsive to their needs. When we combine our higher visibility with our increased training that translates to the significantly higher number of arrests for Drugs and Property Crimes that are reported.
Because we are committed to additional training, and committed to higher visibility and responsiveness to our Citizens, we expect the trend of arrests for reported crimes to increase. Our Patrol Deputies communicate and coordinate activities with our Criminal Investigation Division, and my Investigators initiate investigations immediately. We don’t tell our Citizens and Victims what we “Can’t do”. We demonstrate what we “Can Do”.