The men and women in the Patrol Division are the first responders to all types of calls for service. Patrol deputies respond to accidents, and crimes in progress. Deputies also enforce traffic laws, take criminal reports, and conduct initial criminal investigations. Although the Detective Division is generally responsible for conducting follow-up investigations, it is not unusual for patrol deputies to take the initial complaint and to conduct initial criminal investigations.
The Patrol Division operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The division is divided into two shifts per day. Each shift is supported by 2-3 deputies.
To become a deputy in the Patrol Division, applicants must pass written and physical fitness tests before they are hired. New deputies must complete the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course and successfully complete a field training program. After completing the field training program, probationary deputies are assigned to a shift and are expected to perform the same duties as their veteran counterparts. New deputies must serve a period of probation for one year from the date they are hired.
Every member of the Patrol Division is encouraged to acquire advanced training in matters relating to their specific duties. Many of these deputies receive additional training which qualifies them to perform specialized duties such as Radar and LIDAR Operators, Traffic Crash Reconstructionist, Juvenile Officers, Crisis Intervention Officers, and Field Training Officers.
The Detective Division consists of two divisions. The General Crimes division consists of two detectives. They investigate anything from burglaries, Sex cases, fraud, and homicide. The conduct follow-up investigations on reports taken by the patrol division and complete and prepare cases for prosecution. The Narcotics division consists of one detective assigned to the Mount Vernon/Jefferson County Joint Narcotics Division. They are responsible for the investigation and arrest for most drug related crimes in the county. They employ many investigative techniques, such as under cover operations, managing confidential informants, and targeted street patrol.
The Sheriff’s Office has three, full-time Court Security Officers and is headed by the Court Security Supervisor. Court Security Officers are responsible for protecting the Jefferson County Courthouse. Their responsibilities include screening everyone who enters the building to detect weapons or illegal contraband, as well as searching packages or other containers entering the court building. Court Security Officers also secure the halls, offices, and courtrooms. Officers provide personal protection for Judges, elected officials, attorneys, county employees, and all other personnel within the building. These officers are trained in various aspects of security and law enforcement, including the recognition and detection of explosive devices, crowd control, and arrest and apprehension techniques. In addition, Court Security Officers are responsible for securing and transporting inmates between the Jefferson County Justice Center and court as necessary.
The High Risk Team, also referred to as the “HRT”, was created in 1995 and is a joint unit consisting of Officers from the Mount Vernon Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office.
Currently the team consists of fifteen law enforcement officers. Some members of the HRT Team are also part of the ILEAS Weapons of Mass Destruction Special Response Team (consisting of officers from all over Southern Illinois). The ILEAS Weapons of Mass Destruction team may be used anywhere in the country in the event of a large scale terrorist attack or other potential disaster.
The HRT Team performs various assignments including executing high-risk search warrants, securing or extracting barricaded suspects and hostages, providing dignitary protection, controlling large crowds, assisting with security at large natural or man made disasters, and responding to other high risk situations. Members of the unit have received specialized training in scene security, sniper marksmanship, dynamic entry, and hostage rescue. The HRT Team uses a variety of special vehicles including one armored vehicles, a Command Vehicle, and unmarked vehicles. HRT members train as often as possible, usually twice a month. HRT members are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year