HARRISVILLE Alcona County sheriff's deputies may be spread a little thin, but don't go speeding through towns or racing down back roads.
More than 900 traffic citations were handed to motorists in 2012, compared to 738 in 2011, Sheriff Douglas Atchison said in his annual report to the Alcona County Board of Commissioners Wednesday,
Over 200 people were arrested for misdemeanors and 80 taken in for felonies, another increase over in 2011 figures. The department's 911 dispatch center also was busy, assigning 3,529 calls to deputies and other personnel last year.
Civil process serving fees generated $18,308 for the county, but were down, he said. Deputies served people 766 legal notices, compared to 847 the previous year.
In times of economic distress, more people are handed documents for legal issues such as foreclosures and divorces.
"When they go down, that is a good sign," he said.
In other business, Atchison said he has been approached by several judges to look at security in courtrooms when judges are on the bench. One bailiff is on staff and Atchison said he steps in when a monitor is needed.
He also urged the commissioners to review the county's emergency action plans in wake of recent shootings across the nation.
"A situation can happen anywhere, even at Kris Mart, (a grocery store) where you have a larger population," Atchison said.
The board needs to identify areas where safety could be jeopardized, such as the courthouse, schools, even the health center, because perscription drug abuse is now an issue, he said. As part of the plan, building maps also would be updated.
The plan was last reviewed in 2005, he said.
Also in his report, the sheriff said he'd like to bring back to Alcona County a deputy who has been serving on the HUNT team. The department is short 1-1/2 people, and the deputy's return April 8 would reduce overtime costs.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693.