Sheriff Windham Updates Commissioners on First Six Months

July 21, 2021 - Shelby County Sheriff Kevin Windham addressed the County Commissioners July 14, 2021, to give an update on the first six months of his term, the total arrests, calls that have been received as well as traffic enforcement.

Sheriff Windham expressed appreciation to the commissioners for allowing him to provide them with that information at this time. 

"Since January 1, there's been a total of 396 arrests in Shelby County. The Shelby County S.O. is responsible for 173 of those arrests," said Sheriff Windham. "We have taken a total of 489 reports, I mean these are actual reports that have been generated. The Shelby County S.O. is responsible for 466 of those reports, out of the 489. Our dispatch has received 4,262 calls since January 1."

Sheriff Windham informed the commissioners the current jail population is 35, with that being 30 males and five females being housed. According to Windham there have been 325 traffic stops, 182 warnings issued and 137 citations have been written.

When his administration took over the jail, Sheriff Windham says the jail was in need of a lot of maintenance. Tables and bunk beds were extremely rusty, and plumbing was in need of repair.

"Y'all know we're in compliance at this time, we had to grind the rust off the tables, the bunks, the doors and the food slots," said Sheriff Windham. "We painted the cells, bunks, tables, food slots, and the doors."

Plumbers also worked on toilets, sinks and drains and Sheriff Windham said new blankets, sheets, towels, shoes, uniforms and sleeping mats have been ordered.

"We had to order a new restraint chair. Now, restraint chairs, you know what they're for, they're to restrain individuals who are combative and violent," said Sheriff Windham. "So, we had to order a new restraint chair and then we also ordered parts to fix the old restraint chair."

Sheriff Windham reported the jail freezer ceased to function and two smaller freezers were purchased, because the commercial freezers are much more difficult to acquire. A new one has been ordered and installed. A new stove has also been ordered to replace the current stove, which is also commercial.

The commissioners were provided with additional photos from inside the jail showing its condition, things that may need attention, and he invited them all to tour the jail facility. He specifically noted there being foundation issues which are affecting other parts of the structure as well. The sewer line has also separated beneath the building.

Commissioner Tom Bellmyer asked Sheriff Windham what the longest time frame is that someone is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail. Sheriff Windham was able to confirm it's been four years, and Bellmyer said in his mind a jail is usually more of a short-term place. It was confirmed there is another individual who has also been in the jail for almost four years

Although the inmates weren't mentioned by name, Commissioner Roscoe McSwain remarked the two inmates being discussed were brothers. Charles Dearing has been an inmate since November 16, 2017, making this coming November his fourth year. He is being held on a murder charge, possession of marijuana and two tampering charges. His brother Lewis Dearing has been an inmate since February 3, 2017, and he is being held on two stalking charges and a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

"I can only do what the courts allow me to do," said Sheriff Windham.

"That goes back to that's the court's problem," said McSwain.

Bellmyer stated the county is providing the bed and breakfast perpetually. He asked Sheriff Windham where there cases are currently.

"My understanding is that it's something that the District Attorney (Karren Price) is addressing at this time to try and et these criminal charges disposed of," said Sheriff Windham.

Commissioner Bellmyer asked about a discrepancy in the amount of warnings and citations and Chief Ruth Gonzalez explained some resulted in arrests and therefore they didn't receive a warning or citation.

The commissioners discussed a $1,000 donation to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, and Sheriff Windham explained the donation is an anonymous one from a local church for a pull dispenser to discard old medications. 

A motion carried by the commissioners to approve the donation.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:
1. Minutes of the June 2, 2021 Special meeting, June 9, 2021 Regular meeting, June 16, 2021 Special meeting June 23, 2021 Special meeting, June 23, 2021 Budget Workshop of the Shelby County Commissioner’s Court.
2. Pay weekly expenses.
3. Officers Reports.
4. $1,000.00 donation to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
5. Interlocal Agreement for GIS & NG9-1-1 Automatic Location Information Maintenance Services.
6. Interlocal Agreement for R9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point Service.
7. Adjourn.