Sheriff's Monthly Messages for 2010
Message From the Sheriff, January 2010
It is officially another year and the talk is that 2010 will be another year to be concerned about the state and nation’s economy. Nevada is facing some tough times dealing with deficits and what the state can do to generate revenue other than gaming. Gaming has been the leading source of generating revenue for the State of Nevada historically. Our county is also facing tough times as we are now feeling the impact of the economic downturn. I try to keep informed, as most of you readers do, about our economic status. I also try to keep abreast of the industry future in our area, with gold mining being the major employers for area residents. Also, with the economic downturn comes unemployment. It has been a very long time since we, as a state or nation, have seen unemployment at such a high. In other cities and counties across the state, there have been layoffs and furloughs instituted as a means to meet budgetary constraints. Both the private and public sector have been affected in job loss. The State of Nevada employees are seeing this first hand.
Humboldt County has not been affected to the extent that other counties have as of yet. This may prove to be a very trying time for all of us. The economy sometimes makes people desperate and often we in law enforcement see a rise in crimes related to property. In the latter part of this article, I will hopefully give some useful advice to keep your property and assets a little more safe.
The age we find ourselves living in is mostly technology driven. By that I mean many of the services we have and devices we use are technology based tools. Items such as computers, cell phones, Onstar in our vehicles and online banking. I was talking with some friends about the use of pencil and paper being a thing of the past. Simple letters sent by US mail as the primary form of correspondence has been far surpassed by email, facebook, my space and twitter. Even the intended use of cell phones as a means of talking to each other has been altered by the onset of texting. Typing phone calls instead of actually talking by voice to one another is the standard now. We are even seeing more people using cell phones as their primary telephone. I never would have imagined ten to fifteen years ago that these would be the new standards for conversing. Just think of what the standards will be ten to fifteen years from now.
With all of this technology, there are now new ways for criminals to access your information. The most serious is someone assuming your identity. Identity theft is a real issue and we have investigated more of these in the last couple of years. This crime has prompted programs to be started like the Identity theft passport program instituted through the Attorney General’s office. With your information, it is conceivable that someone could have access to bank accounts, be granted loans, obtain credit cards and make large purchases of goods or services that YOU are responsible for. Be diligent about checking your credit score once a year. Make sure you monitor your bank accounts regularly. Look into the programs credit card issuers have for fraud protection. Do not leave your computers linked to the internet while you are not actively online. While on the internet, do not respond to inquiries that look to good to be true. Online scams are a very hot topic.
The last item I would like to touch on is that you need to be aware of is the protection of your home. I have explained in previous articles how important it is to get in the habit of securing your home. Make sure your doors are locked and windows are secure when you leave. If you intend to go out of town for vacation or business, you can request a house watch be placed on your residence. Local law enforcement will make efforts to monitor your residence while you are away. If you choose to do this, call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 623-6429. Get to know your neighbors and look out for one another. Report any suspicious behavior to law enforcement. Remember, it takes all of us to look out for one another. We will make it through this rough time if we all pull together.
Message From the Sheriff, February 2010
During any given week there are scores of television shows on the big or little screen having to do with the field of law enforcement. Shows such as "CSI", "COPS", "Law and Order", and "America’s Most Wanted" can be found at about any time of the day on any channel. Hollywood has had a fascination with police work for literally decades. In fact, there are probably many law enforcement officers still on the job today who were recruited into this business by watching "Adam-12" or 'Dragnet". One of the downsides of these shows though is some people’s beliefs that what they are watching is true. Because of this, the public’s perception of law enforcement and how we do our jobs can be a far stretch from reality. For instance, I heard a story about a lecture that was given in Verdi, Nevada, a few years ago on crime scene investigations. The criminalist who was teaching the class told a story about how several court cases had been lost which, when the jurors were spoken to after the fact, they all commented that they reached the decision to acquit the defendant because the case was not investigated like they do on "CSI". This, to say the least, is very troublesome.
Along the same lines, how many times have people developed negative perceptions concerning law enforcement officers’ involvement in a deadly force related incident or, possibly, a pursuit? These perceptions very often are simply driven from a lack of actual knowledge of how police are trained or, again possibly, from something they have seen on television or in the theater.
With these things in mind, it falls to law enforcement to educate the public as to what we actually do, and how we do it. This is a very large and important component of Community Policing. Any partnership works better if both the parties to that partnership are familiar and comfortable with each other.
In an effort to explain to our community what we are doing and how we do it, I have decided to take advantage of this time with you each month to highlight and explain a different function of your Sheriff’s Office. With each upcoming article, I will pick a different section of the office and explain in detail what their responsibility is and how what they do affects you, the people we serve. Hopefully you will find this interesting and informative.
Another way we want to pursue community education is through a program that I have asked one of my patrol sergeants to put together for this upcoming fall. In September, our office will be putting on its first ever "Citizen’s Academy". In this "Academy", we will be teaching up to 15 persons from our community many of the same topics that people would take in a law enforcement academy. Classes will be presented on criminal law and procedure, narcotics, sex offenders, fraud crimes, accident investigations, the history of law enforcement, detention procedures, crime scene investigations, and even some limited familiarization with firearms. All the courses will be presented by the men and women who work within the Sheriff’s Office on a daily basis.
The purpose of this "Academy" will be to hopefully educate those in attendance about the reality of law enforcement aside from the depictions of it in the media. In no way will someone in attendance have all of the requisite knowledge to perform the job of a law enforcement officer, but they will come away from this experience with enough education to fully realize and appreciate some of the things that their local deputy sheriff needs to know to perform his or her job. Then the next time someone mentions something about law enforcement at the dinner table, or at the coffee shop, maybe one of our citizen graduates will be within earshot and able to provide a response based on a real hands-on experience.
We will be officially rolling this program out within the next couple of weeks, and applications will be available at the Sheriff’s Office.
In March’s article, I will discuss the function and importance of one of the primary responsibilities of any Sheriff’s Office, the Detention function. This function is a very vital and essential part of our department, staffed with some vey talented and dedicated men and women.
From the Sheriff’s Desk, March 2010
As mentioned in the previous article, I will be talking about different sections of the Sheriff’s office and what each department is responsible for. In this article, the department I will be educating you about is our Detention division. Each Sheriff in Nevada is required, by Nevada Revised Statute, to maintain a jail. The Humboldt County Detention Facility is staffed twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Your Humboldt County Detention Facility was opened in 1993 and has a capacity of 86 stationary beds. Within the facility, there are five different housing areas based on severity of crimes and propensity for violence. One of these housing areas is exclusively used for females. Another is used for our inmate workers who have been selected to conduct work within the facility. The other three are general housing areas separate from one another. We have a medical cell, as well as temporary holding cells as well.
The men and women who work inside the Detention Facility are dedicated individuals committed to keeping those detained safe. Currently, there are ten deputies supervised by two sergeants that operate this facility year round. There are two civilian positions within the confines of the Detention Facility. One position is our staff cook. She prepares and supervises the meal preparation for both the Detention Facility and our Juvenile Facility. At times, as many as three hundred meals are prepared per day under her supervision. The number of meals is determined on the number of those incarcerated for that day. The other civilian position is an administrative clerk’s position responsible for a number of duties such as ex-felon registration, sex offender registration, extradition of inmates to and from our facility, and daily vouchers regarding detention facility needs to name a few.
Our Detention Deputies are not only responsible for the daily supervising of inmates. Their duties are numerous and involve responsibilities both inside and outside the facility. The booking of new arrestees to bailiff duties just hits the tip of the iceberg as to the numerous duties each deputy is responsible for. In any given day, a Humboldt County Detention Deputy is responsible for meal delivery, regulating each inmates medication and medical needs, ensuring inmates are allowed exercise and library time, visitation with family of inmates, internal reports as it pertains to inmate monitoring, ensuring that inmates are able to converse with their attorneys and physically delivering inmates to court for their appearance.
As much as possible, it is an administrator’s duty to provide essential tools for employees to successfully complete their jobs in as safe and efficient manner as possible. As your Sheriff, I have put focus on enhancing training for those employed within the Detention Facility. An increased training regimen will enhance the confidence and abilities of those who work in and around inmates in a controlled environment. In my first term as your Sheriff, I have held two classes specific to Detention addressing crisis response within the jail setting. We have, for the first time in Humboldt County, a Detention Response Team. This group of dedicated individuals is responsible for quelling any conflict or uprising that may happen within the confines of the Detention Facility. We have spent numerous hours on updating policies regarding the Detention Facility and are instituting guidelines to make the interior more safe and efficient for all. All Detention Deputies have received training in court bailiff duties. We have tenured Patrol Deputies who were trained to be bailiffs that were charged with training all of the Detention personnel on the duties of court bailiff. This training was completed with minimal cost, as the instructors are currently department staff. There have been several other trainings specific to the Detention setting that Deputies received. Some trainings were held here locally and others were elsewhere. The more training we can hold locally allows for more Deputies to be trained at a lower cost.
I could talk in depth about the intricate duties that these men and women do daily, but I would need many more pages to work with. It is my sincere desire to enlighten you to the many duties and responsibilities each of the sections of your Sheriff’s Office does in the coming months. I hope this article reflected how hard the Deputies of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assigned to the Detention Facility work to keep the peace and welfare of everyone who enters.
From The Sheriff's Desk, December 2010
As we move from 2010 into the new 2011 year, we look forward to a new season coming, the next upcoming birthday or anniversary, and a chance to better ourselves in some form or fashion. The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is also looking forward to the challenges of a new year. Your Sheriff's Office has been working hard to stay abreast of what the residents of Humboldt County want. In 2010, there were some important resources that we were able to obtain to help make this county safer and more efficient.
In January of 2010, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office held it's first Reserve Deputy Academy. Eight members of the community who have a real interest in Law Enforcement attended the 120 hour State accredited academy. These men and women successfully completed this course, that met every Tuesday night and Saturday for ten weeks. At the end of this training academy, six of them became sworn Reserve Deputies with your Sheriff's Office, one became a Reserve Officer with the Winnemucca Police Department and one moved from the area to the Carson City area. Each one of these people have different reasons for wanting to become a part of Law Enforcement.
Many have full time careers and just want to give something to help their community, while others are looking at the Law Enforcement profession as a career opportunity. A Reserve Deputy or Officer is a definite benefit to each organization. Each additional sworn person is an asset that can perform a multitude of functions that will enhance service to our citizens. Just the extra body on patrol sometimes is enough to make a busy shift more effective. These reserves are trained in the same fashion as any other sworn officer within their perspective departments. When we have large events in our county such as Fifties Fever or the 44 hour softball tournament in the City limits, reserves play a critical part of staffing for safety. Just as within the city, Sheriff's Reserve Deputies will play a critical role in the events that occur annually. Events such as the 4th of July in McDermitt, the Chili cookoff in Paradise, and the Denio rodeo. These men and women have committed to giving back to our community so that we can continue to enjoy everything we have here.
In September of 2010, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office held it's first Citizen's Academy. This academy was held every Wednesday night for six weeks. The purpose of this type of academy was to show everyday people what your law enforcement personnel do on a daily basis.
The goal for the Sheriff's Office was to have everyone in the class exposed to common calls that we handle and why we do the things we do. Many people have an interest in Law Enforcement. While some have always had this interest, others have developed it from television shows such as COPS, CSI, Forensic Files as well as many others. Law Enforcement is a unique field and is a "Professional Art". The field is often misunderstood by both its supporters and its critics. The Humboldt County Sheriffs Office is committed to providing citizens with accurate information about this agency's operations and Law Enforcement in general. Our Citizens Academy is one of the means by which we may provide that information. . The overall focus of the program is to provide a better understanding of the policies and procedures of the Sheriffs Office as well as the approach taken to provide Law Enforcement services to those communities within Humboldt County. Our approach is to provide a basic understanding of Law Enforcement through education and awareness.
The first academy was deemed a success by all who attended. We will be doing another academy this spring, so look for the application in this paper if you are interested in attending.
The men and women of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office are committed to delivering the best law enforcement services to area residents. We are constantly seeking to improve our service by progressive training and up to date technology. On behalf of all of my staff, we are proud to be your Sheriff's Department. As our motto reads, "Diligent, Honorable and Steadfast for our Community". We strive to make sure that Humboldt County is a great place to live, work and visit.