FOLEY - The Benton County Sheriff's Department's Chief Deputy Troy Heck stopped by the WJON studios today (Monday) during the News @ Noon show.

Heck says the department has about 80 total employees, about 30 of them are sworn officers.  Other departments include dispatchers, jail staff, and administrative staff.

The Benton County jail has the capacity to hold 102 inmates at any one time.  They've been averaging about 70 inmates a day.  Heck says they have been renting out cell space to other area counties, like Stearns, when there's a need.

Heck says he's happy to report they've seen a reduction in their crime rate of about 40 percent since 2007.  The biggest issue continues to be drug-related crimes.  The Benton County Sheriff's Department has two full-time deputies assigned to the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force.

Click on the audio player below to listen to the full interview: