Disaster can strike without warning and we need to be ready to provide for our families until help can arrive. Flooding is one of the most common disasters that Payette County experiences. Payette County also has the potential for other disasters to occur such as wildfires, severe weather, landslides, and earthquakes. During all types of disasters, it can be up to 72 hours before outside assistance arrives to help our citizens. Citizens should build an emergency kit that can provide for their needs for 72 hours. Ready.gov (https://www.ready.gov/kit ) has details about how to build and maintain your own kit. The following information comes from that website.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supply kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
Additional Emergency Supplies
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit, remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
The Jail Population has been rising over the last several years. The Sheriff’s Office Administration, including Andy Creech, will continue to work with the Magistrate Judges, Prosecutors Office, and Misdemeanor Probation Office to provide opportunities for pre-trial release, alternate sentencing and other opportunities allowing the Magistrate and District Judges to adequately address each case. Safety for our community is always our priority.
Continual Maintenance of the Consolidated Dispatch Center.
The Dispatch Center is responsible for dispatching nine departments as well as coordinating with numerous other departments that routinely work within our county. The Payette County Dispatch Center is also a backup dispatch center for Malheur County and Washington County. Answering over 11,000 emergency calls and 61,000 regular phone calls each year, the dispatch center requires the use of numerous software and hardware resources in order to provide the information that is needed to our responding units. It is imperative that we continue to stay diligent with continued growth and technological transformation into the future.
Patrol Deputies investigate both general crimes and drug crimes as well as respond to the increasing numbers of calls for service. These Officers are responsible for responding to calls for service by our citizens. They investigate traffic violations, crimes, drug cases, and provide support for non-criminal incidents. In 2019 The Patrol Division handled over 12,000 calls for service. Managing the patrol division will be essential in the future as their call load parallels the population growth in Payette County.
Interactions with Citizens
Creech believes in civic engagement with the communities that he serves. As Sheriff, Creech will look forward to the opportunity to serve alongside our citizens at community events, meet with citizens about the issues that are important to our communities, and inform our communities about the crimes that are occurring in our neighborhoods.
It is on purpose that Creech is a regular attender of the local chamber of commerce. He intentionally attends these meetings to give the community an opportunity to interact with him on a regular basis. He regularly speaks at the New Plymouth High School and makes himself available for other gatherings as well. Creech will be encouraging his administration and deputies to also be active in our community.
The Payette County Sheriff’s office has operated a countywide consolidated Dispatch Center since 1982. We have continually sought out improvements to help serve our citizens better. Some of these improvements included an upgraded 911 phone systems to automatically share resources with Washington County. We implemented Text-to-911 to help our citizens connect with us better. Our Dispatchers handle hundreds of 911 calls every day. They have specialized training and tools to help callers get the help they need.
When calling 911 on a voice call, be ready to answer some questions that the Dispatcher will have. We will always ask for your name, phone number, location of the emergency and what the emergency is. Having this information readily available will help us get to a faster start on dispatching emergency response units to you. When texting 911, know that we will be asking the same questions. If you include that in your initial text, it will help us get units dispatched faster.
Our dispatch center typically operates with up to 4 Dispatchers working at a time. We have staggered our shifts so that we have adequate coverage during our busy times of the day. One of the comments we often get from callers is questioning why they have not heard us dispatch any units. Often times the other Dispatchers on duty are dispatching units while you are speaking with one of the Dispatchers on the phone. When possible, we will keep you on the phone during the whole process and let the other Dispatchers dispatch the units to your location.
Please make sure to stay on the phone with our Dispatchers. They have numerous questions to ask while responders are heading your way. These questions help us to know how many responders are likely needed, which types of responders we should send, equipment they should bring with them and what their first actions should be when arriving on scene. All of these things help us provide the best service when we get there.
In 2015 Lt. Creech applied for a grant with the Idaho Emergency Communications Network and was awarded a $560,000 grant. This grant was used to install a new 911 phone system. This was the largest grant award given in this particular grant year. This project created the first consolidated remote/host 911 phone system in the State of Idaho that joined two separate counties into one system. The system is designed to continue to add additional dispatch centers to it. The system can manage up to 90 dispatch positions at one time. This consolidated 911 phone system promotes interoperability between PSAPs, adds layers of redundancy, and helps share maintenance costs of the system.
Text-2-911 was implemented in Payette County in 2015. Payette County Sheriff’s Office’s Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) was the 3rd PSAP in the State of Idaho to successfully implement Text-2-911. This project was completed with no expense to the taxpayers of Payette County. It was setup using a free web-based service from Telecommunication System (TCS) called Gem911. Within 3 months of its introduction the Payette County PSAP received its first Text-2-911, which resulted in the apprehension of a DUI Driver.
In 2015 Lt. Creech used grant funds available from the Idaho Office of Emergency Management to complete a project to provide secure radio communications to the High Desert Drug Task Force. This Task Force had been operating for years using limited and inadequate communications through cell phones. The addition of this project provides secure, private, radio communication coverage to the task force in southern Washington County, Payette County, and Malheur County.
Lt. Creech has been a sworn Police Officer since May 1997. Sheriff Bob Barowsky hired Lt. Creech as a sworn Sheriff's Deputy for the Payette County Sheriff’s Office in March 1999.
Lt. Creech graduated from Nampa High School and College of Southern Idaho. While attending the College of Southern Idaho he was a Reserve Police Officer for the Kimberly Police Department and worked for the Twin Falls Sheriff's Office as a Jail Technician. Lt. Creech currently holds a Technical Certificate in Law Enforcement from the College of Southern Idaho.
During his Law Enforcement career, Lt. Creech has attended over 3,700 hours of training in the Law Enforcement Field and taught 261 hours of Law Enforcement related courses to students at the Idaho Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Basic Patrol Academy and the Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC).
When the original Emergency 911 system was created, they created a Master Street Address Guide (MSAG). This was a database that included the location of every phone. The database contains every phone number, address, and the associated information. The information associated to each phone number is the owners name, street address, city, state and zip code. It also includes the emergency service number that is associated to that specific address. The emergency service number is what tells the 911 Dispatcher, which response units to send to your location. This identifies which fire department, law enforcement agency, and ambulance service needs to be dispatched.
The problem that has occurred as technology has developed is that cell phones are not physically tied to a specific address. Therefore cell phones do not fit into the MSAG like a regular landline phone. If we were to put the billing address into the MSAG, then when you call 911 in any place, you would always be routed to the Dispatch Center where you live. This obviously could be a problem when you are commuting or travelling. We cannot route your call based on the address of your phone, we route those calls based on the address of the cell phone tower that you have connected to. In theory, the cell phone tower that you have connected to is in the jurisdiction where your emergency is and therefore, you will be routed to the correct Dispatch Center; however, when you are near the edge of the jurisdictional boundary lines this does not always work correctly. When you are near the boundary of two jurisdictions, your cell phone can connect with a cell phone tower in the other jurisdiction. When that happens your phone call is then routed to the wrong Dispatch Center.
We deal with incorrectly routed 911 calls on a daily basis. We are constantly getting 911 calls that one of our neighbor Dispatch Centers should have gotten. Over 90% of our 911 phone calls come from cell phones. Citizens should know that when you call 911, you may have ended up at the wrong Dispatch Center. Have patience with the Dispatch Center that you have reached, while they figure out which Dispatch Center they need to transfer your call to.
There is a fix coming to this call routing problem and it is called Next Generation 911. While the media focuses on the Text-to-911 pieces of Next Generation 911, the real news is in the call routing that will be changed as part of the impending upgrades. The call routing will move to a GIS based routing and discontinue the use of the MSAG. The new call routing will use the GPS location of your cell phone to find your location on a map. The Emergency Service Numbers will be built into the GIS based map and then route your call to the correct 911 Dispatch Center. It will no longer matter which cell tower you connected with and your call will be correctly routed to get you help in the fastest and most efficient manner.
A candidate that believes in partnership with citizens to make our communities safer.