Come what may, local authorities are prepared to keep the peace in Franklin County.
“I do receive regular briefings on intelligence and security subjects,” said Jeff Richards. “With all of the war posturing going on and various things that are being said — just so you know, we do not have any specific threats toward our community.
“We are staying in tune with our federal and intelligence counterparts. If something does come up, we are prepared.”
Richards, Franklin County Sheriff, offered the reassurance during his weekly update to county commissioners at their regular meeting Wednesday morning, hosted at the Franklin County Annex Building, 1428 S. Main St., Ottawa.
Also during the update, Richards discussed a new initiative being undertaken by his department to address troubling trends observed in the law enforcement industry.
“Suicide rate has been really high — last year was the highest on record, for suicides,” Richards told commissioners. “The number of people that are getting out of the profession, for a variety of reasons, has also been increasing.”
“To combat that, one of the things we are doing is addressing the financial side of things. Financial stress affects a lot of people, and people in public service especially.”
To that end, the department is hosting a version of “Financial Peace University,” a Dave Ramsey program, designed specific for law enforcement and military personnel.
“We have a teacher from Central Heights that is going to be facilitating that for us,” Richards said. “We’ll be providing that to all of our staff who want to attend. It’s also available to staffs’ spouses or significant other.
“We think this is something that will help. If we can help that aspect of their life, it makes them a stronger individual and has the potential to help their home life.”
The sheriff also reported an improved staffing situation in his department, with only three current vacancies. The county jail’s inmate count remains high, with 10 inmates currently “farmed out” to other agencies, Richards said.