Fully Staffed SoHum Sheriff’s Department Able to Be More Proactive
Because the Southern Humboldt area is fully staffed now, Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies are able to walk the streets of Garberville as well as Redway and check on local businesses at night even those in small outlying towns like Myers Flat and Miranda, Sgt. Jesse Taylor told us.
“Thanks in large part to Measure Z funding, we are now able to provide round-the-clock law enforcement services for Southern Humboldt communities,” he explained. “We are staffing the substation nearly 24 hours a day which will provide significantly improved response times. I say nearly because there are commutes that some of us make, but thanks in large part to overlapping shifts, our coverage is much better than before.”
Sergeant Taylor and 11 Deputy Sheriffs man the Southern Humboldt area now. Because staffing levels are up, Taylor explained that his officers have time to be proactive. “This staffing will allow us to police the community more aggressively and I think the public will notice a more proactive Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “We’re out of the car and checking on things.”
He named two of the ways the deputies are being proactive. “We are now providing routine foot patrols and night time business checks on a daily/nightly basis,” Taylor said. “The idea is to let the criminal element know that we are out there at weird hours…Hopefully, doing some [crime] suppression that way,” he explained.
Officers working at night are getting out of their vehicles and checking for problems at local businesses. “We usually do a walk around, check doors and windows, shine flashlights, etc. and make sure the business is secure.,” Taylor explained.
Then, “deputies are leaving “Patrol Check” cards [for an example, see photo to the right] at various businesses that show the owners that we checked up on things,” explained Taylor.The deputies make notes on the cards of what they have observed.
The deputies aren’t just in Garberville and Redway. “We’re at little markets and stores in the outlying areas,” Taylor said.
Results are starting to show already, according to Taylor.
“In fact, our night shift just nabbed a wanted felon,Michael Lee Russell, at the Johnston Motel in Garberville [Tuesday] morning at 2:10 a.m.” Now that his officers are able to staff SoHum even during the early morning hours, Taylor believes that they will be able to catch more criminals.
He also said that deputies will be covering the outlying areas much more frequently. He specifically named Shelter Cove noting, “Due to increased staffing, we’re going to send a couple of deputies out during the night. [Residents there] can expect to see a marked patrol car not every night but more often.”
Taylor is upbeat about current conditions for the county as a whole and about the future, too. “Staffing is as good as I have ever seen it,” he said. “[And,] we’ve got eight more cadets in the academy–come June that will be eight more deputy sheriffs.”