KNSS Radio>Audio & Video on Demand>>ISSUES 2017 03/12/17

ISSUES 2017 03/12/17

Mar 8, 2017|

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter discusses a department of more than 500 deputies, and operation of County Detention Center

Related Audio:

  1. ISSUES 2017 03/19/17


    Wed, 15 Mar 2017

    Wendy Glick, executive director, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Wichita discusses 14 programs serving more than 15,000 people across 25 Kansas counties

  2. ISSUES 2017 03/05/17


    Thu, 2 Mar 2017

    National Weather Service meteorologist Chance Hayes discusses the spring/summer severe weather season

  3. ISSUES 2017 02/26/17


    Wed, 22 Feb 2017

    Wichita City Council member Lavonta Williams discusses Black History Month

  4. ISSUES 2017 02/19/17


    Thu, 16 Feb 2017

    Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett discusses illegal drugs, human trafficking, and police body cam evidence


Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is a huge 27 Tina and Steve Macintosh and our guest is Cedric county sheriff Jeff Easter night anyway the smarter the morning thank you welcomed as you Torre seventy you've been on the job since 2012. Right. December appoint well yes sir I like to work I love it I you know I'm home force but it has been something I've done some some one wanton. Have a passion for tentative kind of faintly. The family and profession is hand a little bit and we never really looked at it that way but it's kind of turned out that way. How many employees volunteers supervision authorities some basics here about the sentry county sheriff's department 537. I seems like a lot of people and has a long beak you normal personally. Most. I could well I know all but I sometimes I struggle with that name of of all of them but then yes I think we have forty people there and I can't remember a at that includes your supervision that includes the responsibility for the detention center and the courts. You lord don't that's part of that 500 some people. The act includes judicial. Detention. Investigations patrol. Records all of our civilian personnel. Sheriff deputies control law on the rural parts of the county obviously but we also see him operating within the city of Wichita. I just noticed that in the past couple years and maybe maybe they were always there and just had known as but it. Is that something new details about that. Now you know the sheriff's office has jurisdiction throughout the entire county. You know our substation is in the middle of Wichita downtown Wichita. In so. Now I mean EEE they've always kind of patrolled on the outskirts of which are talking. A lot of traffic. Issues now responsible for all calls in the rule part of the county and then we assessed all of the other. Jurisdictions all the other agencies within center county you know it's if it's in the news got a bit recently and I don't know. How much impacted as there does it and talk about immigration. Does it have an impact on the Centre county sheriff's department. Right now it. Doesn't. It it all opinions on where the future wise at the future lies. We. Everybody that's here illegally is going to be arrested when they committed he. No other crime or not. That that could in practice because. You're talking jail space. Jails already overcrowded. You're talking you know it remaking call in reports someone that they think is illegal do we respond to those calls. You know we have a lot of calls that we have to make. On a daily basis. Hourly basis. He and other issues that we have to address and we're trying to figure out if this is going to impact or Collins right now I just Canon it's a wait and see attitude it is away NC. And answers that one. We've heard a lot recently. On drug abuse early. Use appears to deal on the rise to me about that it is unfortunately. You know in the ninety's that crack cocaine was the McCain for saying of the narcotics being used in which top. Methamphetamine. Has absolutely. King now it's it's horrible drug it's me and made drug. Union we have a lot of overdoses it's immediately Dick beef. And then heroines coming backgrounds well I know over. Christmas break to peak at ten overdoses. From her one. We don't have problems in Kansas City. Also don't know policies were contacted those folks and we are starting to see more heroin. That we're taking off the streets. The problem is is that a lot of times herald has been cut with fentanyl. Which is another. Very bad drug. And in lest they get. Amount correct. It's that you can overdosed from a immediately. As though. Yeah it's it's a trend or start to see and fortunately and it's something that word interface here and what's wrong because hospitals our report to listen overdoses that commend them. And hold the hold drug scene is of course everything's changing in this world and for me in remembering. When I was younger growing up and we heard about drugs we are about heroin it was it was the nasty is worst thing your president and Dyson in back alleys took needles and stuff commended their toes and stuff for it but anymore if you're not finding that the beating case refining and some pretty interesting places I chipped. Yeah we are you know that. Methamphetamine can be injected as well. So the way that Peron was injected. Back in the eighty's and ninety's. That's what they're doing with methamphetamine now and also can be smoked heroines the same way they're injecting it. So you have to look for those needle marks in different places. Because they try to conceal. Those things and you know the thing for me is is that yeah that's illegal and if we catch with it won't take you jail. But we need just really start looking at how do we get these folks off of this. Nasty narcotic can be productive citizens again. What can you tell us about these powerful Leo mentioned into well which I've heard a lot about tell us about that. Well that's also a man made. He and that's a little bit of a host a genetic. That is also. Can be taken by itself but it's a very potent strong. Drug hand. The problem is is is either. Chemists who wants those be making dollars. Self proclaimed chemists making it which doesn't mean it's gonna be right every time on that how much is is in the in the that no itself and those can turn into overdoses immediately. And they when you cut back in wears it like that they'd mix that with heroin to cut down the potency of heroin. You don't know what your this is kind of a cocktail. So that's why others there's so many issues are back on the East Coast is really. What agencies Sheehan. Are users of these drugs during younger people are people whose new it pretty much. Ranges. Not seeing methamphetamine and heroin so much in you know eighteen or younger. But the twenty year old Europe to. Sixty year old folks using the stuff. The problem with that is is. Well first profit its life altering. That second off it leads to most of the crime takes place the burglaries robberies. Sometimes homicides. All of that stuff is related to drugs because a lot of people. Don't have jobs because of the narcotics use and so there amnesty or other people's stuff. To be able to afford the drug habit which then leads to other serious crimes. And about it and mixing religion and well quote. Labs are labs are defined. Enter to Matt. That is methane logical method that that's a bit of yuck it that that makes steak is that true. And yes. The issue here is seen on Kansas back in the nineties we had labs all over the place. Sheriff Chris Samuels was killed up in Greenwood county. They passed the mass Samuels law which forbid. You from buying excessive amounts of cedar fatter and all the stores were connected together so if you bond that. Package of student veteran. You could go to another storm by three more packages and so. Once that took place labs are pretty much nonexistent in Kansas most of the methamphetamine. Comes here from Mexico to that actually worked that lawyer that all worked very oil rich red restricts the in my sinus medication it it does I've heard some good points about I've got to play I look at it the fact that those lab. Abs are also very combustible. In can blow up and start fires those type of things I mean it it's been a very good law for us. To at least not have the labs here but it it's all Mexican methamphetamine now that comes out and it is very potent. Is marijuana problem and it. The Colorado marijuana is. Something that's come here and has pretty much all the we see here. What was referred to as the Kansas that we use the Mexican marijuana. We very rarely see that type of stuff here anymore it's all coming out of Colorado. So there's state to legalize their other states that are legalizing some form of marijuana use. What do you think about should be legalized in camps. Now you're you know urging it. The I know I play it right. Couple reasons here. You know alcohol. Is is any. Legalized. Liquid that people should drink stimulant or what Ana in so. And at how many people or rehab for alcohol we know it's bad for if you if you use too much. My philosophy is the same journalists why would we want to. Legalize. Marijuana. In and have more people react argument against is on its last addictive and house well maybe it between the Mexican marijuana laws. Colorado marijuana is 15% QHC. They're actually seeing overdoses from marijuana which was unheard of Colorado. That means it's because it's there are making so potent. That it is addictive. That there is problems with it you know there's really no labeling on on the food that they make. And there's folks think it it was post take a bite of the cookie to get the hi. The read the whole cookie and that are out of their minds if you know there's been deaths because of it as a young man jumped off a third story for a third Storey building because in the hallucinations he was getting out of meeting that cookie. I just don't see why we should pass something that's gonna be harmful force what do you think of you take is the ingredient that some people say is. Helpful in their very eateries like. There's lamented what TC bulletin about taking some light dad and making. Medicinal marijuana medicinal marijuana and I can understand and because I think there is some value to. The ingredients inside a marijuana but it needs to be regulated. Right now they make pills that has THC a and it for those type of things. But the people I talked to they're like well it's it's just not strong enough. You're wanting high that comes with it. It and the actual which are getting help from you don't need to get high for. In so. I'm fine with medicinal medicinal marijuana as long as it's regulated. Yeah almonds are the big drug companies in a nation yes OK well. They figure a way to make money in yeah hey you know that's the other problem with that is as someone always is gonna make money on it but you know just like. We have so many people addicted to. Narcotic drugs such you know you words such as artists that per percent. Lower caps. In so those are legalized OP Lloyds. That are in a pill form. But you know we have a lot of kids use in. Those type of medication that's quite so important for parents to understand. If you're done with that medication dispose of it because people get hold mainly in. Rat on the street and so more cap for five dollars a tablet. Some people make money off of it and then you have some places we just recently there was another old doctor. That was charged. They're making money off of it and those things are regulated see just you have to be very careful with all the stuff because there's so highly addictive and our kids these days. Younger younger start using those type medications. You're listening to issues when he seventeen on the intercom radio stations and guest is such recount Asia yet Easter. What can you tell us about human trafficking here centric. Human trafficking is an issue. You know I was on the police department Tenet we started. The Rico case back in 2006. Human trafficking we hadn't really heard of when you the gains were involved in prostitution. And so and open. You know the game wars in the homicide and stuff but we delved into that investigation we found out human trafficking was a real issue here in Wichita. Found out that. Girls were being taken from which darn trying to put on routes through Oklahoma City Tulsa. Dallas Houston Louisiana back to Wichita and so that's what really opened her IDs. Two human trafficking from that point forward. We started investigating it more. And I believe the last teams you. Stats that I saw was around seventy cases that would work last year. By the which top expert secretary sheriff's office so human trafficking is a real issue. Here in Wichita and we see a lot of runaways. That gets hooked up with the wrong crowd in the next thing you know there traffic count. To other states primarily it is mean but these are not. You know young woman riding her bicycle mysteries just finished. Now it's probably. Rarely does an effort the I'm not aware of any cases like that here actually shocked everybody at is that tax kidnapping India and but. But yet it's a lot of times kids that get mixed up in the wrong crowds. Trust somebody who's been given him drugs those type things then next thing you know they're caught up in. Prostitution and B in traffic down. But it's a little bit about domestic violence the big problem for four. Law enforcement or community. Domestic violence is it. It's been with us for years. You know I came on in 1989. Into law enforcement and domestic violence was an issue the end the difference was then if if the male or female whoever was one that was a salted it would prosecute we believe government house. Which then usually lead to view more assaults and those type things in the early 1990s in the domestic violence laws are passed. Where we spent probable cause we arrested one of the other sometimes both for disorderly conduct. That overloaded the court system. Eons ago. We're still in it that makes there. But it's very hard and it's usually female victims. It's very hard for them to get away from the matter because usually the ones they are making money for the family. That's what the female half as reliant upon. You know a lot of times and wholesale change all. This that the other in a lot of times they don't and they are just products faculty don't argue now that there's a lot more resources on other counties. To assist battered women to get away from those type relationship law enforcement officer doesn't wanna go to you've equaled. Now I mean it's you know I've had a mourner dignity tko win you end up fight about it except me and it cast in the next thing you know. The the other happens jumping on in screaming hollering because that's not what they call for latest one of the got to stop it yes. Next thing you know you're taken to jail so those can be very volatile situations. The very emotional special and keep kids are bald. Kids are witnesses to it. And it traumatized as the kids because first off they see that these their mothers the fathers it mattered and they see the please come an enemy can arrest which is very. Disheartening to the children here. He's a bat in batting impression sometimes that the police are here to arrest people. Well let's talk about the the jail for a minute you societies of the century county detention center. Out of beds and company accurate and act in a note of now. We're about 11150 beds you guys who have bought. We do in some areas but summaries we can't do that and bit. Yet now we have 11150 beds at city county jail. As of yesterday Al. Knock on wood hopefully it stays this way we're about a 126. Over and so we 126. Inmates out account now last summer. Was some of that. Highest rates and seeds and share with about 260 inmates at county per day. That was very hot I'm just sending them somewhere else any and other jail while paying 35 dollars a day for that image to be house. So do you have guess from other counties come here then probably not if your old now for the most part now sometimes will want to switch out if if there is individual in another jail. Is having problems with that are just not equipped with handling that type issue. We will switch on an inmate with them so we can take their enemy because we're more. Able to handle those type of problem remains. You know that in the count he's done some interesting things to try to alleviate this problem but it appears from what you're telling me it's not gonna no way is it. It what at what point do you say I'm gonna go down county commissions if I can get it either brand new jailer and on this a half you know those of. Those are discussions that take place all the time. You know others. There's arguments to and on the jail there's no doubt. Even nicer room to do that. There's a little bit of room to the north okay to be able on but. Yes it's pretty boxed in there's not a lot of places that we go to. The other thing is. In nineteen I want when they built the original jail and they built the north after the jail if you build a jail you're gonna fail. In Seoul. That that's problematic in so what were out working we developed strategic plan for the entire sheriff's office. One of the things that we're working on is reintegration programs inside the jail. And so individuals that are being out of jail for misdemeanor crimes those type of things. Give him the proper resources in the proper education. Hopefully they can assimilate themselves back in the comedian be productive citizens of this. Recidivism that takes place with a lot of these individuals so. We're gonna get we've been given at a trial on some of our programs have been very successful and try to expand that. Because touring other jails across the nation it. Myself and some of the staff have been too. It's those programs that have alleviated there are particular. Jail overcrowding issue and also has reduced crime rates. So there being successful and it and we need to start looking in that direction that's interesting he actually on an endurance work with these people. If you're what's given him a skill set you know we we change contractors for our. Kitchen and for a food. One of the reasons we went with this particular contractor was is that a train. Inmates. On how to be bakers going to be food for prayers how to surf to those type things get certificates. This company one out in in Wichita ought to COK where in the food industry it is the food industry need help but Akers was one album. In so what they'll do is to help them. Place these enemies when they get released into those particular jobs. We've had him for about a month now the inmates are very very happy about this. Because it gives them a certificate to be able to get a job when they get out of jail. It would hook them up with him employers here which aren't so. That's a path way to get individuals. If they stay off drugs it's it's got to be a personal choice to if they stay off the drugs to possibly be successful. Reduce our current rates and not come back to jail. Tell us about your deputies in the courts in the work they do. Yeah or were pretty sprain there. You know there the jury trials the amount of hearings that take place every day have gone up quite a bit the last four years. We still have the same set amount of deputies work in and security which is nineteen. Basically they they guard the courtrooms during trials during any type hearings time they also weren't there when PF a user are given. Protection from abuse orders today we then have another set of individuals that go out and try to serve all the PF. That protection from abuse orders of protection from stocking orders. And those things have increased. Dramatically. And we're just. Short staffed at this point and then when you look at some of the things Armenian government state to Tony's been more judges in the eighteenth. Judicial court. And the way that they're gonna start changing assignments to judges. Is. Could be problematic to us because that means we're gonna need more people in courtrooms. Then you take a look at you know that's hammer. Trial we have to have at least two deputies and there. Here recently and sales last 45 years. We have a lot more murder trials with a lot more people charged so you have that we had one when there was five murder suspects. In a courtroom for hearing. We had to have ten deputies. So that's ten deputies for that particular hearing again at nine for the rest of the courts and there's 21 judges in in center county so. We have to pull people from. Patrol which means they were lacking responsible troll. We have to pull towards people who are out trying to track down people of Lawrence and put him into courtrooms so. And it's a juggling act sometimes and were going to be asking for some more people this is next budget cycle so what are. One of the biggest challenges of the shares. Oh. You know it. That the jail is and he is an everyday issue. There's always something going on in the Janelle. You know employees with five Burton 37 employees. You know people being hurt those type things. Just that every day workings of it you know it it it's a lot of meetings every day and in a lot of means every week to keep an organization this size moving full worked. Building strategic plans building goals lecture were hearing to those goals. To me was for technology is changing every day. Trying to figure out budget wise how we can afford. Things I operate on all want and need basis in so right now we're just trying to to maintain what we need. There's a lot of wants out there that could make this. More proactive in those type of things if we don't have the money for it. We we have to maintain the need of of what we have to provide to the citizens tells a pretty big job with a lot of responsibility. He'll long. I'm glad that your doing it and that Africa. Gathers there's times I go home written. Or out now from all the meetings delegates yet to bed in the morning you're up and go you know just the passion. Law enforcement general. Working with great. Men and women of the such Karen sheriff's offices where it's now better or a lot of good people there are a lot of loyal people to what they do for a living. Folks that really wanna make a difference in the communities that they were Keyon. You know and in just the fact that. Like my job like what do you see India prolonged. I keep getting elected Pope Leo all keep doing it. That's part of that we got yesterday and elected owe some thanks for spending some time with us as always we learn a lot I think and there we appreciate your time in the effort to you and your people do and down there and and thank doing a great job thanks for me being with us again today but thank you Stephen appreciate I guess Cedric county sheriff Jeff eastern that's all for this edition of issues too funny seventeen will be back next week. Thank you for listening I'm Steve Macintosh.