The Sheriff’s Chief Deputy is Captain Jeff Lewis. Chief Deputy Lewis holds a Senior level certification from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. He is a certified law enforcement instructor, a standardized field sobriety (SFST) instructor, and a certified field training officer. In addition, Chief Deputy Lewis holds many certifications in specialized areas such as a Level 2 ACIC/NCIC operations, senior BAC breathalyzer operator, and APCO certified telecommunicator. He has thousands of hours of experience spanning 31 years of service. He has been with the Sheriff's Office for the past fifteen (16) years, and was with the Mountain Home Police Department prior to that.
The Chief Deputy works directly under the Sheriff and oversees the daily overall operations of the Sheriff’s Office, which comprises the Administration Division, Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, Detention Center Division, and Support Services Division. The duties and responsibilities of the Chief Deputy are many and varied. One of the biggest responsibilities of the Chief Deputy is coordinating the activities of the various sections of the Sheriff’s Office. This task is very important because it assures that all work and projects are performed by Sheriff’s Office personnel in a manner that will serve to meet the mission statement, goals and objectives established by the Sheriff.
The Chief Deputy’s Office is also responsible for compiling statistical information from Sheriff’s Office operations for presentation to the Sheriff, Quorum Court, and other interested persons. In addition, the Chief Deputy plays a substantial role in the administration of several special projects concerning the collection of revenue for Baxter County and the victims of crime who are owed restitution. These projects include the driver license suspension program, the Arkansas state income tax set-off program, and in providing information to the courts concerning those persons who are failing or refusing to comply with orders issued by the courts in their cases.
One other area that the Chief Deputy has been successful in is obtaining grant funding for various Sheriff’s Office projects and direct equipment grants from the Federal government. Since 2005, well over $450,000 in funding and/or equipment have been received from State and Federal grant funding sources. This has allowed for the construction of an Aviation Hangar and facility for the Sheriff’s helicopter, for additional bullet proof vests for the deputies, for night vision and thermal imaging equipment, for video security systems for the Baxter County Courts Complex and Sheriff's Administration building, and for radio interoperability equipment to enhance communications between agencies. Other grant projects are in various stages of development or review by funding sources. The Chief Deputy also manages a jail inmate work program whereby inmates are taken out into the community, under guard, to perform community service type work. This includes trash pick-up, cleaning up and maintaining abandoned or neglected cemeteries, assisting the county road and bridge department with mowing and clearing brush along bridges and guard rails, and assisting with many community events and functions.
The Chief Deputy occasionally publishes a newsletter that any interested citizens can subscribe to on this web site and receive via email. The newsletter will contain information about special Sheriff’s Office projects or programs that are underway, will provide information to the public about particular laws or areas of interest that may be a popular topic at the time, and may offer commentary on developments and situations relating to the Sheriff’s Office or law enforcement that are being discussed or reviewed by the State or County governments.