OZARK-Community partnerships are key to the success of the Dale County Sheriff’s Department, DCSO Chief Deputy Kyle Anderson told Ozark Rotarians Tuesday.
The full-time School Resource Officers in Dale County School, Project Lifesaver, and the recently resurrected Dale County Sheriff’s Youth Fishing Rodeo are among the events made possible through community partnerships, Anderson said.
Anderson, who began his law enforcement career in 1993 as a Military Policeman in the U.S. Army, has worked for three Dale County Sheriffs during his almost 23 years with the Dale department. Hired as a DCSO patrol deputy in 2000, Anderson was promoted in 2007 to lieutenant and Dayshift Patrol Supervisor. In 2016 he was promoted to captain and served as Patrol and Investigation Divisions Commander. Anderson was promoted to chief deputy in 2023 and in that capacity oversees day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s office.
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The 1993 graduate of Carroll High School graduated from the Montgomery Police Academy in 2001.
The SROs are made possible by partnerships with the Dale County Commission and the Dale County Schools Board of Education, Anderson said, adding appreciation for the support of both organizations.
Anderson also had high praise for the outstanding working relationship between the DCSO and the municipal police departments. He said that the Ozark Police Department’s investigators and the DCSO investigators are in real-time group text contact with other and that collaboration has resulted in successful crime solving.
Anderson said the primary focus of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism, and other related conditions or disorders, Anderson said. The average rescue time for Project Lifesaver participants is 30 minutes or less.
Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, countless man hours and thousands of dollars. More importantly, because time is of the essence, every minute lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome.
Participants in Project Lifesaver wear a small frequency transmitter. If the client wanders off, the family or caregiver notifies the sheriff’s office who responds to the area with specialized receivers to track the missing person. The specialized receivers can track up to one mile on the ground during normal weather conditions. The DCSO Aviation Unit also has a receiver installed on an aircraft that can track subjects up to 10 miles away.
The Youth Fishing Rodeo held in May was the first since 2009. Some 300 anglers, aged 15 and under, participated in the event which was held around the Dale Medical Center Surgery Center Pond.
“A true community partnership” is what Anderson called the event made possible with assistance from Dale Medical Center and a multitude of business and individual donations from Ozark, Dale County, and Dothan.
“We were blessed to have enough donors to provide free lunch to the participants and volunteers,” he said. “It’s being able to host community events like this is what makes me proud to be part of the Dale County Sheriff’s Office.”