During his first and second terms, Sheriff Muller instituted a number of measures aimed at
improving the Sheriff’s Office in order to better undertake its primary mission,
enhance communications within and outside the Sheriff’s Office (particularly
with other law enforcement agencies), improve morale within
the Office, stabilize the turnover of personnel due in part to low salaries
and limited opportunities for advancement, modernize and acquire equipment
needed to both carry out their duties and improve deputy safety, restructure
and reorganize the Sheriff’s Office, streamline functions and to cut costs.
What follows are some of those improvements:
During his time in office, Sheriff Muller has met the goals he set forth in the platform he ran on. For example:
Sheriff Muller, with the help of Representative Dan Moul was able to get legislation passed in the form of House Bill-1027 which allows for individuals who do not pay their child support to be transported back from other states to this jurisdiction for enforcement. This is one of the reasons why the Adams County Domestic Relations Section consistently ranks amongst the leaders in the State for child support enforcement.
Sheriff Muller is responsible for the acquisition of other assets for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. The office now has a K-9 dog that is trained in bomb detection and missing persons. The Sheriff is its trained handler. This dog was donated to the Office and is owned and maintained by the Sheriff at no cost to the tax payers.
Working within budget restrictions we have also phased out the last of our cars with V-8 engines so that now all of our patrol vehicles have more economical 6 cylinder engines. In 2013, working with the County Commissioners, the Sheriff’s Office will begin leasing its vehicles at an even greater cost savings to the public.
In 2008, using the funds set aside from the service of Magistrate Warrants we purchased a 40 passenger school bus and modified it to securely transport prisoners to and from the Adams County Adult Correctional Complex. This economical form of transport saved thousands of dollars annually. It is yet another way that Sheriff Muller is constantly looking for ways to cut costs associated with the transport of prisoners to and from the Adams County Courthouse.
The Sheriff began a program of contracting transportation services of prisoners from the various State Correctional Institutions throughout the Commonwealth to the closest facility to Adams County. This has saved the county a considerable amount of money for prisoner transports.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has also undertaken the serving of District Justice warrants. Fees derived from the service of these warrants generate additional capital from which the Sheriff’s Office can purchase other items or equipment to carry out our duties. In addition to earning other income, Sheriff Muller has solicited and obtained grants that have paid for bullet proof vests, lap top computers for the vehicles, and triple retention holsters for the staff, again at no cost to the County. The purpose of these holsters are to make our court rooms safer by reducing the risk of being disarmed by an angry defendant (which was exactly what happened in the Atlanta Court House shootings.) This not only protects the Deputies, but also the Judge, the Court Staff, and the general public present in the court room. The Sheriff instituted the use of X-26 Tasers not only in the court rooms but
also in its routine duties thereby allowing deputies another option to employ instead of lethDuring his time in office, Sheriff Muller has met the goals he set forth in the platform he ran on. For example:
The Sheriff replaced and upgraded outdated policies and procedures reducing the Sheriff’s Office exposure to civil liability. Through the pro-bono services of a former Police Chief, the review, evaluation and re-write all of the policies and practices of the Office was undertaken at no expense to tax payers.
The Sheriff instituted a complete reorganization of the Office to provide better oversight and accountability of its personnel. Policies and procedures were either revised or written in accordance with Best Practices to increase efficiency, professionalize the Office and reduce potential liability.
In 2010, the Sheriff began the process of having the Sheriff’s Office fully accredited by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association’s program. This has been an extensive undertaking of nearly two years. Of the 1,100 plus agencies, less than 300 are accredited. Only three of the 67 Sheriff’s Offices are accredited. Completion is nearly complete and it is anticipated the ACSO will receive accreditation in the spring of 2013.
To reduce the traditionally high turnover rate within the Office caused by the comparative low pay and limited opportunity to attain promotions once hired. He designed and implemented a reorganization plan with a new rank structure resulting in improved accountability, morale and reduced turnover. The rank structure was designed to provide deputies with a career track to retain qualified deputies. Accordingly, the turnover in the Sheriff’s Office has declined each year and now is below national averages for agencies its size.
Training programs for firearms and all less-lethal weapons has been upgraded to meet best practices thereby increasing proficiency in these weapons and reducing potential liability to county taxpayers. The Sheriff was recently able to upgrade the service weapons that its deputies carry at no cost to the tax payers.
In addition to the above initiatives and capital acquisitions initiated by Sheriff Muller, he has also maintained a very high profile and involvement with other community related programs.
In 2011, in a public-private partnership, the Sheriff’s Office began conducting a two-day, 16 hour training program for civilians who either have or wish to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm at no cost to taxpayers. The Sheriff’s Office personnel involved in this training volunteer their time and experience as a public service. Based on the success of the program at the Littlestown Fish and Game Club, the Sheriff’s Office will expand this program to LTC holders and gun owners to other ranges and gun clubs within the County beginning in 2013.
Sheriff Muller is a participant in the Easter Bunny Foundation which involves donning an Easter Bunny costume and visiting ill and less fortunate children in the area during the Easter season.
Sheriff Muller is also involved in the program Fight Crime Invest in Kids, which is a state wide anti-crime organization whose goal is to get the public and policy makers to understand and fund programs that are proven to keep kids from engaging in criminal conduct. This proactive approach is an attempt to reduce the crime rate in Adams County.
Sheriff Muller also participates in the Deputy Phil Program where he and his deputies go out to the various schools in Adams County and teach kindergarten through fourth graders about gun safety, strangers, and internet danger and bus safety. This learning is accomplished through the use of puppets and a magic show.
The Sheriff’s Office routinely volunteers time working with the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts in the local area.
Sheriff Muller is a member of the Adams County Tech Prep, which is an educational program, geared toward preparing high school students who wish to pursue a career in the criminal justice field. This program involves a shadowing program where students accompany the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriffs during a routine work day.
At Lincoln Elementary School, Sheriff Muller participates in the Character Counts Program where he speaks to the children on the duties of the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Muller is a sponsor of the Newspaper in Education, which in coordination with The Gettysburg Times provides newspapers for the learning process at our various schools.
Lastly, to help with the secretarial duties in the office he has instituted the use of unpaid college interns in the Criminal Justice field to assist this Office while they learn and earn credits. This benefits both parties involved at no cost to county tax payers.
Restructured and reorganized the Sheriff's Office to streamline functions and cut costs.
• Joined the Adams County Chief of Police Association to foster a better
understanding of the role of the Sheriff’s Office, what it can and cannot
do, and what services it can provide. Better communications (formal and
informal) aids in building mutual networks. Working together acts
as a force multiplier by working collaboratively on certain issues of
mutual concern which reduces overlap, redundancy and provides savings
to the tax payer.
Retained, at no cost, the services of a management consultant to review all administrative policies and procedures for the Sheriff's Office reducing civil liability.
• The policies, procedures, rules, regulations in place when Sheriff Muller
took office were old, outdated and inadequate. The lack of critical policies
could have placed the Office in a position of vicarious liability. Through
his personal contacts, he acquired the pro-bono services of a former Chief
of Police with over 37 years of executive and managerial experience to review,
evaluate and re-write all of the policies and practices of the Sheriff’s
Office and bring them up to standards. Some of that work has been done (e.g.,
Use of Force reports, Sick and Injured Prisoners reports, a policy for the
newly acquired Taser X26 units, and so forth). More is being done as of
this writing. To hire someone with this background and experience would
cost around $100 per hour. Sheriff Muller has cost the tax payers not a
dime to undertake this task.
Stabilized the turnover problem due in part to low salaries and limited opportunity for advancement.
• Recognizing that there was a morale problem among the deputies in the Sheriff’s
Office, Sheriff Muller undertook the task of learning what the cause was
and how the situation could be remedied. There had traditionally been a turnover
problem within the Office caused by the comparative low pay and limited opportunity
to attain promotions once hired. He worked with County Human Services personnel
in evaluating pay grades for the deputies and succeeded in including the
ACSO personnel in a general pay raise for county workers. Working with county
officials and an outside law enforcement consultant whose services he acquired
pro bono, a reorganization plan was implemented with new ranks (Sheriff’s
Sergeant, Sheriff’s Lieutenant) was added to the organizational structure.
This, in addition to the modifications in pay should drastically reduce the
turnover in the Sheriff’s Office.
Solicited and obtained grants that have paid for bullet resistant vests, safer level-III holsters for the staff, and Lap Top Computers for the patrol vehicles. Again at no cost to the County.
Phased out the last of the V-8 powered cars and replaced them with more economical 6 cylinder vehicles.
Saved additional fuel costs by acquiring and refitting a school bus to be used in transporting prisoners and reduce individual trips by deputies in Sheriff's Office vehicles. This was done at no cost to taxpayers through funds received from the service of Magisterial Warrants.
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• During Sheriff Muller’s first term, the Sheriff began an initiative to
serve warrants issued by county Magisterial District Justices. By undertaking
to do this the defendants pay
the cost of this service and the Sheriff’s Office retains a percentage
of the service fees which are then used by the Sheriff to acquire and
pay for new equipment and enhancements at no cost to the county tax payers.
Purchased X-26 Tasers to increase both deputy safety and the safety of court staff and visitors
• During his term as Sheriff, he has acquired additional and/or replacement
equipment to improve Deputy safety as well as safety in the court rooms
at the Courthouse Building. Laptop computers aimed at improving the effectiveness
of our deputies in the field were purchased and placed in the Sheriff’s
Office vehicles. Additionally, new bullet-resistant vests were acquired
for the deputies along with new Threat Level-3 safety holsters designed
to provide maximum protection from the risk of being disarmed or overpowered
by a defendant when the deputy is in the court room (that was the exact
scenario in the Atlanta Court House shootings). These improvements not only
provide a level of safety for the deputy but also the judge, the court staff
and the general public present in the court room. All of these items were
acquired through a state grant at no cost to county tax payers.
With the help of Rep. Moul got legislation passed to help curtail the "Deadbeat Dad" problem which makes individuals behind in their support payments more accountable for their actions.
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• To reduce the so-called “Deadbeat Dad” problem, Sheriff Muller initiated
and worked with Representative Dan Moul to draft legislation aimed at including
Domestic Relations Warrants for Failure to Pay into the national NCIC
data base. This increases the ability for Adams County Sheriffs to successfully
extradite those arrested outside of the State and bring them back to Adams
County to face contempt of court charges. As a result, these warrant cases
bring increased revenue into the county which, in turn, results in a savings
to county tax payers.