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MADISON COUNTY, Ind.— As crime continues to rise in some areas of Madison County, the sheriff’s department says they’re struggling to patrol the areas that need it most because of their limited staff.

Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger says his limited patrol staff is impacting response times to non-emergency calls and the ability to proactively patrol areas that have seen a recent increase in crimes.

One of those areas is River Park Estates on the east side of Anderson, which has seen a major increase in car break-ins, prowlers and property damage reports in the past few weeks. 

Chris Johnson lives in Anderson and he says someone recently broke into his garage. 

“I pay my taxes and it’s important to me that when I pick up the phone and call 911 that my family is safe,” Johnson said. 

Johnson says he was also outside his house one night and saw a suspicious vehicle going very slowly. 

“They just zoom out of the neighborhood really quickly. We call the police and it takes the police about a half an hour to get out here,” Johnson claims. 

“We just really need more human resources to do more preventative work,” said Sheriff Mellinger. “Our guys and gals out there are doing everything they can. I think they wish they had more time to do crime prevention as well.”

Sheriff Mellinger says he plans to ask for three more deputies in next year’s budget. He also plans to ask for an increase in staffing at the Madison County jail, which he says is overcrowded.

Mellinger is also running for re-election.