Sheriff sales on the decrease in Sussex, Lee tells council


At this week’s Sussex County Council meeting, Sheriff Robert Lee offered the council an update on his office. Stating the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office has taken a “team approach,” Lee said, noting that he and his staff were focusing on communication and teambuilding.

“It has been nine months… Nine months has gone by very quickly for us,” said Lee. “As far as the communications part of this, I can truly say that [County Administrator] Todd Lawson and I have had excellent communications.”

Lee said he and his staff are a team, having handled more than 11,000 documents and more than 606 sheriff sales thus far in his tenure.

“Which is down,” he said of the number of sheriff sales. “I’m not an economist — I’m just a retired policeman, but that tells me that maybe our economy is getting better in this county. Maybe all of us working together has made this a better place to live.”

He added that the office has brought in approximately $1.5 million in revenue since January.

“I think that’s tremendous.”

Lee said he and Chief Deputy Eric Swanson do the same jobs as road deputies.

“That way we know exactly what their job is. When they have a complaint, we can appreciate and initiate how to get it resolved.”

Under Lee, the sheriff’s office also has state constable status, which Lee said he believes is important.

“The State’s constable position gives us the protection that we need while we’re on duty… But it also makes us have certification in the things we carry… If litigations were to come about, we can say we were certified, we were trained in these particular areas. That’s very important,” he said, adding that they have also been involved in the in-house training the County has offered.

Lee said the office is also working on community relations, going to court every day, connecting with the hospitals in the county, and will be walking in the Sea Witch Parade next weekend, along with the sheriffs’ offices of Kent and New Castle counties.

Lee invited any member of council to visit the office and go on the road with a deputy to see what deputies do in person.

“I think we’re in good shape,” he said.

Ruth Beideman and Sally Beaumont, who serve on the advisory committee on Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities, also spoke to the council Tuesday, about the upcoming Live Conference.

The conference will be held Oct. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., with a theme focusing on transportation.

“The elephant in the room has always been transportation,” said Beaumont. “We are battling transportation this year.”

This year’s speakers include Scott Bogren, director of communications for the Community Transportation Association of America; Jerome R. Lewis of the University of Delaware School of Public Policy & Administration; and Rex Knowlton, former United We Ride Ambassador and former CTAA Board president.

“It is our goal, with your help and guidance, to offer Sussex County seniors and disabled the opportunity to have the best quality of life that they can, here in Sussex County,’ Beideman said. “So many of them don’t know what’s out there, what’s available, who they really want to turn to with any concerns or needs.”

Councilman Rob Arlett thanked Beideman and Beaumont, and the committee, for their work.

“It’s vital what you all are doing for our community,” he said. “This is the biggest demographic that is growing… We have to listen and learn how we can help more.”

Those who are interested in attending the conference can learn more by visiting, www.sussexcountyde.gov/news/moving-forward-sussex-county’s-’live-conference’-oct-21.