The Sheriff's Department and jail are located in the Audubon County Courthouse which was constructed in 1939. The first Sheriff, Benjamin M. Hiatt, was appointed in 1855.
Todd W. Johnson, the current Sheriff, was elected in 2000. Sheriff Johnson served as Chief Deputy to Sheriff Bill Shaw prior to his election. Click here to see all past Audubon Sheriffs. He was hired as an Audubon County Deputy in 1989.
Jail duties are handled by the Sheriff, deputies and dispatchers. Chief Deputy David Beane serves as jail administrator for the 12 bed facility that houses both male and female inmates and out of county inmates as needed. The jail has had no real structural changes since it was built but is well maintained. The jail's construction consists of separate cell blocks, one holding room and an isolation cell. Multiple cameras allow dispatchers the ability to monitor inmate activities at all times.
Sheriff Johnson has been instrumental in organizing an annual Bike Rodeo which is also sponsored by the Farm Bureau and Farm Safety for Kids, the Character Counts Committee, with the help of other local law enforcement agencies. The Bike Rodeo is now being held during the school year for the kids in the third grade.
The Sheriff's Department is a member of the W.I.N.E. (Southwest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement). The Department has been a part of the development of a "Fusion Center" that covers a fourteen county area. Sheriff Johnson is a past president of the Fusion Center. The purpose of the Fusion Center is to keep communication open between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and to share information.
The Sheriff's Office is maintained 24 hours and is the county-wide communications center. Responsibilities include dispatching for Audubon and Exira City Police Departments in addition to the Sheriff's Department, rescue, fire, emergency management and disaster services for the entire county, including the towns of Audubon, Exira, Brayton, Kimballton and Gray. Audubon County has enhanced 911 and all the dispatchers are trained as emergency medical dispatchers utilizing the medical priority dispatch system to assist callers with their emergencies as well as gather information for the ambulance personnel. With the help of grants, the communications center has recently been updated with a touchscreen radio and paging system. Dispatchers also monitor the jail, booking room, outside exercise area and exterior of the courthouse from a large screen in the dispatcher area.
The Sheriff's Department has a great working relationship with all the law enforcement agencies in the county along with the state patrol in our county and the County Attorney Francine Andersen. Francine has been County Attorney for more than 20 years and is appreciated for her hard work and dedication. With the help of our aggressive County Attorney we have established quite a reputation with the criminal element we deal with.
Audubon County residents take pride in their community. We have worked hard to keep the communication open with the public and this has paid off many times in criminal investigations and crime prevention. Residents are willing to call in reports of things that are out of the ordinary and are willing to come forward in giving us information. Our philosophy is that we can't do it alone, but if we work together we can make a difference. Sheriff Johnson works hard to maintain a safe community for all the citizens in Audubon County and believes with the help of a dedicated staff he is able to accomplish this goal.