Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera announced Tuesday that he will seek re-election in 2020.
Barrera has served as sheriff since Nov. 24, 2014.
Prior to becoming sheriff, Barrera had been a sheriff’s deputy since 1993. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999. During his tenure, the sheriff said in a news release, he has worked all divisions of the sheriff’s office.
Since coming into office in November 2014, he said he has made several improvements to the office including:
* Upgrades to the 911 Communication Center including upgrading the reporting system, upgrading 911 from four monitors to six monitors at each station, and adding headsets for each 911 dispatcher; upgrading the telephone recorder system, the Law Enforcement Data System (LEADS), and presently working on upgrading the 911 system to “Next Generation,” which will allow texts to 911 and better geo-tracking of incoming calls. He said he has also enhanced training to 911 officers.
* Upgrades to the jail division, including inmate recording systems (Jamin), added a new telephone system at no cost to taxpayers, added a new Kiosk system so inmate funds are directly deposited through a computerized kiosk system, and eliminating officers receiving funds and issuing paper receipts. The system photographs the depositor and collects other pertinent information for more efficient computerized accounting, Barrera said.
* Passed Minimum Jail Standard Inspection for the past four years, with the Highland County Sheriff’s Office being named as one of the top 10 cleanest jail facilities in Ohio.
* Upgrades to the video recording system throughout the entire facility from an outdated analog system to a new digital video recording system, and adding several new cameras.
* Procured the purchase of several transport and fleet vehicles, including upgrading to the Marcs radio system, which is used throughout the state.
* In the road patrol division, recently procured new weapons for all certified officers, and purchased body cameras and several additional tasers.
* Implemented computerized system for sexual predator notifications.
* Coordinated efforts with the probation department to implement an inmate work program.
* Worked with the probation department on a Vivitrol program through Hillsboro Municipal Court to assist inmates in rehabilitation.
* Currently working with Highland County Court of Common Pleas and Judge Rocky Coss on a drug court program.
Some of the statistics since 2014, Barrera said, are as follows:
* 225,781 calls for service;
* 97,994 calls to 911;
* 8,852 criminal investigations;
* 2,276,341 patrol miles;
* 273,581 jail transport miles;
* 76 average number of daily inmates —58 males and 198 females;
* 445,345 inmate meals served;
* 15,169 arrests.
“I hope to remain your sheriff for the next four years,” Barrera said in the news release. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of Highland County, Ohio as sheriff.”