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Jail, 911 see a lot of traffic in 2017
Health Department tackling poverty in the county
new deh county commission 2017 review jail pic web
Although the COVID-19 outbreak at the Barton County Detention Facility is under control, the jail remains locked down. - photo by Tribune file photo

Editor’s note: At Monday morning’s Barton County Commission meeting, Operations Director Phil Hathcock presented a summary of departmental activities for 2017. This is the first of two articles outlining these. Part two will appear in Friday’s Great Bend Tribune.


Last year was a busy year for the various Barton County departments, county commissioners learned Monday morning. Operations Director Phil Hathcock presented a summary of departmental activities for 2017.

Drawing on reports submitted by department heads, he shared many of the accomplishments. Among them were:

Sheriff Brian Bellendir

• Inmates Booked – 1,893 (1,315 males, 578 females and 53 juveniles)

• Average daily prisoner count – 86

• Registered offenders – 474

• Concealed carry permits – 50

• Civil process served – 6,998

• Arrest warrants executed – 610

• Total calls for service answered – 17,279

• Cases taken – 1,594

• Search warrants executed – 43

Fiscal activity

• General fund revenue from prisoner keep – $102,432.50

Sheriff’s budget

• Patrol division – 5.81 percent under budget

• Juvenile detention – 15.39 percent under budget

• Detention division – 3.82 percent under budget

Total sheriff’s overall budget – 5.09 percent Under budget ($132,779.21 remaining)

These statistics were prepared on Jan. 29. It is estimated that about $4,000 in 2017 expenses are not accounted for in the budget statement. The Sheriff estimates this will make less than 1 percent difference. 

Communications Director Dena Popp

• Created and processed 45,104 dispatch cards in Enterpol CAD (computer-aided dispatch). This includes officer-initiated traffic stops or service of civil process/court documents. 

• Handled a total of 86,739 phone calls from both incoming and outgoing lines. Of those, 13,043 were 911 calls and 61,701 administrative calls answered from the public and officers/deputies.

Of the incoming calls, 99.47 percent of them were answered within 15 seconds. The busiest month was May; the slowest was February. Between 77-80 percent of 911 calls were from wireless devices. 

• Handled 303,005 radio transmissions from emergency responders. 

• Equipment replacement projects included the purchase of a new generator at the Susank tower (destroyed by mice multiple times), purchased a new battery backup in the Communications Center (after failure), and purchased a new camera and intercom system (no intercom prior and camera black and white and did not record). 

Health Director Shelly Schneider

• Circles of Central Kansas, #ItStartsWithMe, had 10 graduates reach the first step in walking out of poverty. The next steps are committing to an 18 month process where they will be matched with Allies whom want to walk with them in rising out of poverty. There were two classes hosted by Community Corrections and the Health Department exploring the “Bridges Out of Poverty” curriculum with approximately 60 people engaging in these conversations. 

If anyone is interested in being in the Circles program, contact the Health Department. 

• The Health Department, working with Central Kansas Community Corrections, is in the planning phase of bringing “Trauma Informed Care” awareness to Barton County. Staff has formed new partnerships with outlying counties to help facilitate and streamline education and awareness on this topic. 

Trauma Informed Care is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma.

• Immunizations – Influenza Vaccines are still available. This is a very harsh flu season. The Influenza Vaccine may not have matched up exactly with the strains on influenza but it will still provide against other strains that may be active in the coming months. 

It is never too late to vaccinate. Flu shots are recommended for both adults and children from 6 months of age and up. The CDC continues to recommend and the Health Department continues to offer the High Dose Flu Vaccine for people ages 65 and older. 

• Community Health Needs Assessment – Clara Barton Hospital, Ellinwood District Hospital and St. Rose Urgent Care in collaboration with the Barton County Health Department are working on a Community Health Needs Assessment. This is an IRS requirement for the non-profit health-care facilities under the Affordable Care Act. Community feedback is needed. This information will be used to help formulate a plan for the future of health care in Barton County. The Online Survey link is:

• Electronic Medical Records Update – Nightingale Notes has been purchased and the transition into this new system is underway. It is anticipated that the system will be in place by late spring/early summer.

• Commodity Supplement for Seniors Food Program – The Health Department has secured a commodity supplement for the Seniors Food Program for Barton County. While it will launch in Great Bend area, plans are to provide the program throughout the county. For more information, call Janel Rose at the Health Department.

• Communicable disease – The BCHD hosted a Rabies Meeting with attendance from the commissioners, citizens, veterinarians, humane society and law enforcement. It will host another meeting at 1 p.m. on March 5 in the Commissioner’s Chambers. There will be a 5 minute speaker limit for discussion of a 1 year versus a 3 year vaccine in the county and the protection that this vaccine will provide to the animal as well as the human population.