The functions of the Sheriff's Office include patrol, the investigation of criminal incidents, the service of civil process, jail administration, as well as criminal, civil & tax warrant service. The Sheriff's Office is responsible for the processing of concealed carry permits and the registration of sex offenders, violent offenders, and drug offenders.
The Undersheriff plays a critical role in sharing the duties of the overall administration of the office with Sheriff Ridley. The Undersheriff's primary functions include supervision of Patrol, Jail Administration, and conducting criminal investigations. The Undersheriff also represents the Sheriff's Office at community events, a wide variety of board meetings, and at law enforcement conferences.
Undersheriff Jeff Channell joined the Sheriff's Office in August of 2008. He began his law enforcement career in 1998 serving as a Corrections Officer and Shift Supervisor at a minimum security prison in Colorado. He also worked in the Ford County Jail in Dodge City for more than two years before joining the Sheriff's Office. Deputy Channell has received specialized training in Criminal Patrol Tactics, Highway Interdiction, and Man Tracking and is an expert with many types of small arms. In May 2013, Deputy Channell was selected to become the canine handler for the SO after the acquisition of a narcotics canine. Following extension training as a K-9 handler he and his partner "Kilo", work together everyday to detect the possession or trafficking of drugs in Hodgeman County. Deputy Channell is a combat tested veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served overseas in the Middle East in Jordan & Kuwait and in Horn of Africa in Somalia during his six year enlistment. After September 11th, he enlisted again in the Kansas Army National Guard and served with the National Guard for three years.
The Adminstrative Assistant to the Sheriff is tasked with those daily functions that keep the Sheriff's Office running smoothly. Duties include: records management and dissemination, civil process tracking, tax warrants and collections, grant administration, payroll, maintenance of personnel & training files, and accounts payable/receivable.
Administrative Assistant Valarie Whistler has been with the Sheriff's Office since August 2010. Valarie attended Barton County Community College before transferring to Fort Hays State where she majored in Mathematics and Education. Valarie worked with disadvantaged children in the education field before joining the Sheriff's Office.
Administrative Assistant Janet Lonnberg joined the Sheriff's Office in July 2014. Janet has prior experience as an Administrative Assistant to the Sheriff at the Ford County Sheriff's Office.,