In the first quarter of 2016, the average population housed in the Genesee County Jail was 79, up from 60 in the first quarter of 2015.
The biggest impact on the county's budget with an increased jail population, Sheriff Gary Maha said during his department review report to the County Legislature's Public Service Committee, is an increase in expenses for medication and medical care.
The majority of inmates have either substance abuse issues or mental health problems. This has been a growing trend in recent years.
The Sheriff's Office is also handling more female inmates, with an average of 18 this year compared to 11 last year.
Since the local jail can't house female inmates, they must be transported to and from jails in other counties in Western and Central New York willing to keep them. This is an added expense of the Sheriff's Office and takes deputies off of patrol.
Currently, staffing in the department is short five deputies. There are three new deputies going through the academy, but by the time the first one graduates, a current sergeant will retire and other retirements are anticipated this year.
The hiring and training process for a deputy, getting a deputy to the point where he or she can work a solo patrol, takes close to a year.
The department also lost a productive and dedicated deputy recently when Joseph Corona transferred to Monroe County.
A legislature asked if that was because of better pay in Monroe County and Maha said that while the pay is better, and retirement benefits are better, Corona also had family and personal reasons for making the transfer and that a larger department offers greater opportunity for career advancement.
That said, Maha said, historically, the Sheriff's Office hasn't lost many deputies to other departments, so he doesn't anticipate this signaling a trend.
The turnover is high in the Sheriff's Office because there just happens to be a lot of retirements hitting at the same time. Eventually, that should even out.
The emergency center call volume is up about 8.5 percent, but this largely reflects structural changes, not an increase in more calls for service.
Calls get logged when additional fire units are dispatched on calls, for example, and increasingly, multiple departments are being dispatched for calls in volunteer fire districts, so a call for service that was once counted as one logged dispatch is now logged as two.
The Sheriff's Office now also handles dispatch for State Police Troop A, which means more calls and traffic stops logged.
Theresa Asmus-Roth, program coordinator for Genesee Justice, is anticipating a 15-percent increase in funding from a federal grant.
Bail evaluations have increased 22 percent over last year, with the cases being handled by one full-time staff member and one part-time, and they're managing to keep pace with the case load.
"We certainly appreciate having that second person," Asmus-Roth said. "(Bail evaluation) is quite an involved process."
The Child Advocacy Center handled 241 cases in 2015.
The Sheriff's Office is participating in Project Live Saver, which provides tracking bracelets to children who might wander off, and 14 disabled children wear the bracelets currently.
Earlier this week, a 79-year-old woman with dementia wandered off from her home, leading to a multi-patrol search for her, and Maha said potential grants might help expand the program to other people who might wander off.