Educating the Community

Knowledge is Power!

  • West Lafayette

  • Population just over 45,000

  • Lies in 2 townships (Wabash and Tippecanoe)

  • 2 Elementary Schools

  • 1 Junior/Senior High School

  • 1 University which has their own police department

  • City has between 10 and 15 miles in total area

  • Approximately 125 miles of roadway to patrol

  • 48 sworn officers

 

 

  • Lafayette

  • Population over 70,000

  • 13 townships

  • 11 Elementary Schools

  • 6 middle Schools

  • 2 large high schools

  • Over 500 square miles in total area

  • 871 miles of roadway to patrol

  • 56 sworn deputies

City Police vs. Sheriffs Department

  1. Jail: overseen by the jail commander and assistant jail commander. There are 12 correctional officers working each of the 4 shifts, with 2 being off each day we are down to 10 working at any given time. That is 10 correctional officers that are responsible for the safety and security of the jail population that is around 500 or more on a daily basis. We are responsible for all inmate visitation.

  2. Courthouse: Responsible for the safety and security of the courthouse which is being overseen by bailiffs, but at times requires deputies to fill in.

  3. Sex Offender Registry: We maintain this registry, which currently has over 170 offenders listed in Tippecanoe County.

  4. Dispatch: Each agency has their own dispatch center, but our dispatch is not only responsible for dispatching our deputies, but they also dispatch all 6 medics in the county and the 10 volunteer fire departments.

  5. Transport: Inmate and juvenile transports are overseen by 5 transport officers and deputies. Transport to and from all court dates, doctors appointments, and at times, funerals while in our jail and prison. Go out of county, and at times the state, to pick up those arrested on a warrant. When a juvenile is arrested and then placed in a secured facility, more often than not, it is our responsibility to transport the juvenile to the secured facility. Tippecanoe County is not equipped with one so we have to transport them a minimum of 45 mins away and sometimes as far as South Bend or Evansville.

  6. Sitting and remaining with inmates 24/7 when they are admitted to the hospital. This is done with road officers and transport officers, but it puts a burden on our ability to protect and serve. Some of these hospitals are not in Tippecanoe County which requires officers to drive up to an hour away to sit with inmates.

  7. Once a city police officer releases their arrested individual to the Sheriff’s Department, the Sheriff’s Department is responsible for the safety and security of that individual and all transports of that individual from that point on.

  8. Serving civil papers overseen by our 3 civil process officers. We are 100% responsible for the civil papers that are served in Tippecanoe County. June of this year we served 1,415 papers. We serve thousands of these papers every year.

  9. Service of all evictions, tax warrants, and all protective orders.

 

Calculations & Reality

We have 36 deputies working 12 hour shifts which puts us at 9 deputies per shift.  Almost everyday there are 2 people off so we are now at 7. On average we have one deputy sitting with an inmate in a hospital per shift which takes us to 6.  One off sick, on family medical leave, or off for training, then you can see what that does to our numbers. 5 to patrol the 871 miles of roads. Tippecanoe County is in the top 5 of the 92 counties in Indiana as far as population, and is one of the fastest growing in the state. In order to keep up with the demand that our growing community is placing on the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office, it is critical that we address manpower and staffing. We need to assess which special teams our deputies participate in to ensure we are operating at an optimum level to meet the needs of the community. We must increase the number of deputies in the department and if we follow the 2014 study by the FBI, it is recommended that we have 98 deputies based on our population.  If we follow the national average per county agency we should have 151 deputies. We have 56. We have seen a decrease in effectiveness over the past few years, as our community’s growth has outpaced the sheriff department's growth. We owe it to our men, women, and children to strive to provide the best services and response time possible. We have to work with our county leaders to address the manpower crisis we are in. Not increasing the budget and not increasing manpower is putting everyone at risk.