Office a lot better

Tim Hudson
Sheriff Eddie Virden

Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden says his first few months in office have been eventful. “I think the agency in general is all pulled together and is in a lot better place” he said.

“We are full strength with the deputies, fully staffed and working on a lot of changes.

Virden was elected to the office last year and took over in January. He had previously been a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’ve been working on policies that have been under revision since 2008 and a lot of administrative stuff, and have had a lot of really good feed back from the community,” he said. “I went into this knowing the whole thing was going to be a challenge, and we’ve been making improvements every day and getting better and better.

He said the challenges to coming into the office were “exactly” what he thought, but that the transition has been “surprisingly smoother.”

“A lot of the employees were ready for change and a heavier participation level,” he said, adding he wants to promote people from within the department rather than hiring others.

“The last four that became deputies were promoted from working in the jail, and we want to be making promotions from within instead of bringing people from outside. It’s giving people a better incentive than doing a better job and moving into positions.”

He said other new improvements have been adding a Crime ≈toppers program to Osage County and he is developing a Neighborhood Watch program.

“We want to be doing the best job we can and if we make a mistake we will put everything we can into making it better,” he said. “We’re trying to bring it to the highest professional level as possible. If anyone has any problems reach out to me directly and we’ll address any situation and make it as right as possible.”