by Sheriff Benny Napoleon

First, let me thank the leadership and members of POAM and WCDSA for consistently working with my executive team and me to ensure the doors of communication swing freely in both directions. Since my appointment in 2009 and election in 2010, many changes have occurred in the administration of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (operations and management). This has been no slight undertaking. We have had to make critical decisions with regard to the budget deficit, personnel and facilities maintenance. And progress is being made. But there is more work to be done and I am confident we can move forward successfully as a unified team. That is why I am glad to see the County moving forward with my plan to build a state-of-the-art jail comprising our three current facilities—Jails I, II and III. Consolidation of Jail services into one location will reduce redundancy in staffing, prisoner opera- tions, and facility maintenance. Cost savings to taxpayers is an- ticipated to exceed $20 million annually. That is tremendous in light of the growing deficit the WCSO has faced in recent years. Improved technology will allow for virtual visitation reducing the need for individuals to travel to the facility to visit an inmate. And consolidation of services within the housing units will reduce the staffing costs, allow for improved services and increased security for the inmates as well as staff. I will insure that my officers are the beneficiaries of the most modern, efficient and comfortable work- ing environment as possible. It is my hope that as our fiscal deficits begin to diminish we can begin pursuing other policing opportunities and means of in- creasing public safety within our 43 cities. We want the WCSO to continue serving as an agency where individuals can thrive as law enforcement professionals in numerous assignments from recruit- ment through retirement. Finally, I want to thank POAM and all the members who part- nered with us in making Christmas 2010 the best it could be for area children and families. Thanks to your hard work and warm hearts we raised roughly $30,000 allowing us to purchase toys and coats for 190 children and 60 families. We certainly couldn’t have put the smiles on those kids faces without you. We’re already plan- ning this year’s event and looking forward to generating even more smiles for Christmas 2011. My administration is also working closely with union executives on the first annual WCDSA family picnic to be held in August of this year. I look forward to meeting the moms, dads, wives, husbands and other “support staff” of my officers. I want to thank you for the dialogue we shared at the beginning of the year and look forward to several more opportunities. Again, my door is always open. 