KOSCIUSKO — This morning, Jan. 9, Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes stood by as Judge David Cates reswore in the office’s merit deputies and jail confinement officers with the oath of office.
“With a new sheriff in the county, I wanted my family to come and take the oath under my administration and under my name,” explained Dukes. “It’s just something that any new sheriff comes in and wants to do and does. They’ve taken the oath before, but with a new sheriff … it’s custom that we do an oath of office.”
Dukes said that his first week of office has been “very interesting” and busy.
“I’ve worked 13 hour days and should probably be working 17 hour days,” said Dukes. “I’ve tried to learn as much as I can on the first seven days … but one thing that I told my jail staff is that this is my family and I appreciate everything they do for this community. They’re hardworking men and women.”
Dukes noted that he has been concentrating a lot of his initial efforts into the jail.
“I’m proud of the jail. That jail has turned around in seven days, turned around,” said Dukes. “But it had to take everyone on board with the new game plan, a new jail commander.”
According to Dukes, one of the things that has changed is the cleanliness of the jail. Trustees buffed and waxed all the floors a few days ago.
“I know that sounds funny and sounds weird, but it actually smells good, it smells clean,” said Dukes. “I’m very proud of the jail staff.”
Dukes noted that other changes included that inmates are now required to wear their jumpsuits at all times within the jail. All inmates are also required to stay five feet behind windows and doors for the safety of officers.
“We’re concentrating on two (rules) at a time. Two a week and just enforcing them,” said Dukes. “Two things like that seem simple, but when they’ve never been followed, it’s a battle. But we’re doing it.”