Date: November 1, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Aaron Flint, (863) 534-6377 or 502-8262 pager

Trustees Save Taxpayers Millions of Dollars

In an effort to minimize the cost of maintaining and operating the Central County Jail, South County Jail, and the Juvenile Boot Camp, the Polk County Sheriff's Office uses inmates to carry out various forms of maintenance. These inmates, known as trustees, are minimum to medium custody (no first degree felonies) inmates who have shown excellent behavior and passed the trustee screening process.  The screening program looks at the inmate's charges, criminal history, health, and other factors to determine whether he or she is able to become a trustee.   

The Polk County Sheriff's Office currently has 189 trustees who handle various duties at PCSO facilities and other county locations.  Central County Jail houses 79 male and 35 female trustees, while South County Jail houses 75 male trustees. 

Trustees carry out a variety of different tasks that save the Polk County Sheriff's Office - and therefore taxpayers -  approximately 2.5 million dollars annually.  These duties include custodial and grounds maintenance at the jails, boot camp, and other county buildings, skilled trades such as plumbing at these locations, miscellaneous work on departmental vehicles (cages, hitches, window covers), animal care for live stock secured by the agricultural crimes unit, farm-related duties such as crop rotation,
fertilizing, tilling, seed planting and harvesting, irrigation and fence repairs, filling sand bags for inclement weather conditions, and maintenance at county recreation areas and parks. 

Two significant services in particular that are handled by trustees are the kitchen and laundry room duties.  Kitchen services are supervised by PCSO detention deputies and typically consist of 2 crews of trustees per shift at each jail.  The Boot Camp is serviced by crews at the Central County Jail. On an average day, these kitchen crews prepare a total of 5,700 meals.  Laundry is another task that would be extremely costly without the labor provided by trustees.  Crews of trustees handle the endless chore of cleaning and folding laundry for the more than  1,900 inmates who occupy PCSO detention facilities. 

The use of trustees is one more example of how the Polk County Sheriff's Office strives to be as efficient as possible with taxpayers' money.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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