Protect & Serve
A spotlight on first responders around McDonald County and more.
Anderson Police Department has made numerous strides in the past year to better protect and serve the community, including foot patrols, business checks and department-wide gym memberships.
“It’s amazing what you can see, smell, hear and taste on foot that you can’t in a vehicle,” said Deputy Chris Sutherland, an advocate for foot patrol. “We’ve walked up on underage parties, domestic disputes, you name it.”
While on foot, the department also conducts business checks, where deputies shake door handles, review property perimeters for signs of forced entry and keep an eye out for suspicious activity or property damage. Deputies also patrol for break-ins from east to west in residential areas.
Chief Seth Daniels has led the department for over a year. Recently, he approached the city council in pursuit of gym memberships for his six full-time officers. Memberships allow deputies to maintain health and stamina as well as train for possible one-on-one engagements.
Anderson Police Department also began hosting regional training days in the past year. During these sessions, local departments gather to pursue additional, extracurricular knowledge about topics such as highrisk traffic stops, defensive tactics and shooting drills. They’ve hosted four sessions to date.
These extra efforts have not gone unnoticed by city officials who recently approved a 5 percent pay raise to all deputies.
“Morale is higher,” said Sutherland. “There’s better training, better pay. The first year I was here, we had no extra training.”
The department is currently anticipating the delivery of a new patrol vehicle, a Ford Explorer under warranty. This will help with the deputies’ prime source of community interaction, which is traffic stops. Although certain crimes fluctuate with the seasons.
“Domestic disturbances tend to increase as the weather cools and people get ‘cabin fever,’” said Daniels.
Anderson deputies recently apprehended a suspect in a case regarding the destruction of a nostalgic, local landmark — the antique screen at the Flick Theatre on Main Street.
Video recordings showed a subject unlawfully entering the building through a back door and effectively ruining the beloved screen, courtesy of a human-sized hole in the lower corner.
The subject was identified after the Flick shared an image from the video on its Facebook page. Over 700 users shared the post before the subject was identified and subsequently interviewed.
“Facebook is very helpful, the community is very involved,” said Daniels. He noted that Facebook also recently helped to track down subjects wanted in a local forgery case totaling over $8,000.
Daniels would like to see minor renovations in the Police Department in the coming year, specifically in an attempt to organize evidence management within the department.
Deputies with the Anderson Police Department include A. Miller (left), Chris Sutherland, A. Lemon, Chief Seth Daniels, M. Willet and M. Moore.