I want to stress the WE in the accomplishments of the past 3 ½ years during challenging times. The WE are the 65 employees and over 100 volunteers that serve with the Sheriff’s Office, the County Commissioners, Law Enforcement and Fire agencies in the County, and a supportive community!

Enhancements in service to citizens:

 

  • Received funding to hire 4 new Deputies as well as a 5th Deputy who is funded by and works with Public Works, the Health Department, and Building and Planning on code and nuisance issues 

  • Transferred funding for 2 open Deputy positions ($300,000/year) to fund private armed security at County criminal justice buildings which allowed the transfer of 4 Deputies ($600,000/year) from security duties to patrol duties

  • Established a 3 Deputy Crime reduction team to pro-actively pursue habitual criminals and those engaging in ongoing criminal activity such as burglaries, catalytic convertor theft, vehicle prowls, and arson

  • Started an AED program that now has 35 AEDs deployed in patrol vehicles. Most of the $60K cost was financed through citizen donations and grants. We have had 1 saved life so far!

  • Established an on-line program for Concealed Pistol License issuance and renewal which has streamlined the process for citizens. We now have civilian staff doing fingerprints and have relieved deputies from doing so.

  • Established a I-1639 course to aid citizens in exercising their 2nd amendment rights.

  •  Participated in the Citizens Academy, Safe-kid’s programs, and boater education certification classes

  • Established a Lower Columbia Major Crime Team in cooperation with the Police Departments and the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office to investigate serious crimes and use of force by Law Enforcement

  • Supported investment in new SWAT equipment and training for Lower Columbia SWAT along with the Police Departments and have a cooperative agreement with Clark County SWAT for back-up and assistance.

  •  Established an Incident management team to address the COVID-19 outbreak. This resulted in acquiring scarce personal protective equipment for local healthcare providers and 1st responders and conducting drive through testing and vaccinations

  • Implemented cost savings on vehicles by implementing hybrid vehicles, lower cost decals (50% less), and lower cost more durable uniforms.

  • We have returned $1.7 Million to the County general fund over the past 3 years due to conscientious fiscal management.  

Enhancements for Deputies to better serve the citizens:

  • Established a peer-to-peer support program through grant funding and cooperation with the Cowlitz Chaplaincy and Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue

  • Obtained funding for and are establishing a Behavioral Health Unit that will be a 4-person team to assist Deputies in the field dealing with people dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues. The goal is to keep people out of jail, the courts, and the emergency room and direct them into independent productive lives

  • Invested in technology such as computer and cell phone forensics, body worn and dash cameras, armored helmets, UAVs (drones), night vison for SWAT, and a less-lethal pepper ball platform.

  • Implemented a digital use of force training program that teaches appropriate use of force and de-escalation techniques with video scenarios and real firearms and less-lethal tools converted to digital integration

  • We are in the process of opening a new firing range for law enforcement. This has been a multi-year project and hope to be fully operational during the summer of 2022

  • Obtained $58K in funding for Covid 19 response. We chose to purchase gas/bio-hazard masks for our Deputies on the front lines. There were sufficient funds remaining that we purchased masks for the Kelso, Woodland, Kalama, and Castle Rock Police Departments as well as the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office