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     Along with the District Court security function that was placed on the Sheriff's Office, we were also made responsible to transport prisoners to and from these courts.  This has increased the demand for transportation services.

     The video arraignment system that has been put in place was designed to relieve the demand for transportation services, however the demand transportation service continues to grow, as the agencies utilizing the video arraignment system lack the manpower and accommodations to facilitate the overnight holding of prisoners.  As a result, the Sheriff's Office now makes daily trips not only to the courts, but to a number of Police Departments as well.

     In addition to these transports, the Sheriff's Office is also statutorily responsible for providing transportation to persons involuntarily admitted to the State Hospital.  The potential risk to the safety of Deputies is greatly elevated when dealing with the often times violent nature of these people.

     The concern of the safety of my Deputies is not limited to State Hospital Patients, but to their dealings with prisoners as well.  The Transportation Division provided transport services for court appearances, as well as for medical and rehabilitative services not only in Hillsborough County, but also throughout the state, for inmates held at the County House of Corrections.  Anytime an inmate is outside of the secure environment of a correctional facility, the opportunity for escape is greatly enhanced, and the risk to deputies is greatly elevated.

     Our challenge has continued to be in meeting these demands with limited resources, while maintaining the safety of the Deputies providing these services.  I am happy to report that my Deputies have risen to these challenges, and met them, providing approximately 13,328 transports a year safely, while ensuring the security of both the prisoners and the community.

Transport Division: (603) 627-5636


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