You may have heard the legislature proposing the “Stand Your Ground” laws and the “Castle” laws. We often hear citizens speak about using deadly force to protect their property. These laws do not allow a person to use deadly force to protect property. It is against the law to use deadly force to stop a person from stealing or damaging property. The person who decides to use deadly force has to be the victim of an aggravated assault or battery where they have a well-founded fear that the suspect will use deadly force on them.
The Castle law states the victim does not have to retreat from their residence or work place before defending themselves with deadly force. The Stand Your Ground laws are similar but refer to when you are in public places. In a public place you do not need to retreat before using deadly force to defend yourself.
When considering either of these laws, it is important to note that a victim must be in fear for their life before they use deadly force. The fear must be something they believe is imminent and the suspect has the means to carry out the threat at the time that the victim uses deadly force.
The Idaho State Law in reference to the Castle Law and Stand Your Ground states the following:
18-4009. Justifiable homicide by any person.
(1) Homicide is justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:
(a) When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person;
(b) When committed in defense of habitation, a place of business or employment, occupied vehicle, property or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein;
(c) When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mortal combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or
(d) When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
(2) For purposes of subsection (1)(b) of this section, a person who unlawfully and by force or by stealth enters or attempts to enter a habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit a felony.
(3) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Habitation" means any building, inhabitable structure or conveyance of any kind, whether the building, inhabitable structure or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, and includes a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest, and includes the curtilage of any such dwelling.
(b) "Place of business or employment" means a commercial enterprise or establishment owned by a person as all or part of the person’s livelihood or is under the owner’s control or under control of an employee or agent of the owner with responsibility for protecting persons and property and shall include the interior and exterior premises of the place of business or employment.
(c) "Vehicle" means any motorized vehicle that is self-propelled and designed for use on public highways to transport people or property.
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office has operated a consolidated dispatch center since 1982. The consolidated dispatch center was formed when Payette City Police Department and the Payette County Sheriff’s Office joined efforts by combining their dispatch centers and combining their efforts.
The Payette County Dispatch Center dispatches for seven emergency response agencies within Payette County. They are also a backup dispatch center for Malheur County and Washington County Sheriff’s Offices. In 2019 the Payette County Dispatch Center received all 911 calls from July 3rd to 5th for the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office when they had unexpected outage in their 911 phone system. The Payette County Sheriff’s Office has worked with these other dispatch centers so that we are able to share resources and provide for not only Payette county, but also the region.
The Payette County Dispatch Center handles 61,000 non-911 phone calls and 11,000 emergency phone calls. Our dispatch center has seen an increase the number of phone calls and radio traffic as Payette County’s population has continued to grow.
Our Dispatch Center is a highly technical center with many pieces of modern technology. Our Dispatchers run 3 computers with 6 monitors at each Dispatch position. They use these systems to answer the many emergency and non-emergency phone calls, talk to emergency responders on the radio, answer text-to-911, track the locations of our emergency responders and dispatch emergency responders.
These systems track the location of callers and responders, which helps Dispatch give turn by turn directions to our responders to each emergency. They also have a multitude of resources available to them to help Patrol Deputies find property owners, cattle owners, vehicle owners, landlords and general citizens. They use a mass notification system to alert neighborhoods to police activity when we believe there is a specific threat to the public in that area.
In addition to the computer software that Dispatch uses, they also monitor 18 radio channels and take radio traffic from law enforcement, fire and EMS units.
As technology in our world continues to change, so will our dispatch center. We are planning for the future and make changes to be ready to accept new technology as it becomes available to help us continue to provide the services that our citizens expect from the Payette County Sheriff’s Office.
The Payette County Jail houses 72 inmates and is nearly full most days of the year. We hold public inmate visitation 4 days of the week. Below are the list of dates and times for the Jail inmate visitations.
Detention Facility Visitation hours are:
The Payette County Jail is a complex operation and must adhere to the Idaho Jail Standards that are set by the Idaho Sheriff’s Association. The jail is inspected annually by the Idaho Sheriffs Association. Plus, it is inspected quarterly by the Payette County Commissioners.
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office operates a 72-bed Jail Facility, which consists of a booking room, intoxilyzer room, detox room, 5 line-cells, nine multiple bed housing units, a medical room, a law library, cafeteria, kitchen, and outside recreation yard. The original portion of the jail is a 36-bed facility that was built in 1972. It was expanded to a 72-bed facility in 2000.
Multiple Detention Deputies man the Jail Facility. Our staff consists of 2 Jail Administrators, 2 Jail Technicians, and 11 Detention Deputies. These Deputies are responsible for completing any necessary inmate movements, cell checks, booking in new inmates, transport of inmates to court, escort inmates to meals, oversee inmate recreation, and transport of inmates out of the facility for medical care.
Jails operate more efficiently when they are at 85% of capacity or 61 inmates. One of the struggles of a Jail Facility is separating inmates throughout the facility. We house inmates that require protective custody. This can be because of their charges such as, they are co-defendants with other inmates, the victim of their crime is in custody on unrelated charges, or their charges are such that require protective custody. Our ability to separate inmates is diminished when the jail population is greater than 85% of capacity.
One of the standards that we are required to meet is in our jail population levels. The jail population is not necessarily computed or based on the overall capacity; however more specifically, the capacity of each holding area. This standard has been difficult to meet in the last several years. In 2018 we were over capacity 46% of the year and at capacity 4% of the year. Our average daily headcount in 2018 was 72 inmates. In 2019 we added a second administrator to help manage the Jail Facility. During this year, we were over capacity 22% of the year and at capacity 3% of the year. Our average daily population was 66 inmates.
In 2019 some implemented changes that reflected in a reduction of inmate count included pretrial release programs and alternate sentencing programs through our Work Inmate Program and Misdemeanor Probation. Because we typically hold about 18 state inmates at a time, our jail administration also began working with the State of Idaho to encourage the State of Idaho to pick up state inmates as often as possible.
It is vital for the Jail Facility to pass the Idaho Sheriff’s Association Jail Inspection each year. The consequences of failing are very high. Payette County’s insurance company will reduce our liability coverage from $1Million to $500,000 if our facility fails the annual inspection. While there are many standards to meet, the jail capacity standard continues to be challenging due to limited capacity. In addition to the potential impact of liability coverage, the jail is also the single division in the Sheriff’s Office that has the greatest risk of lawsuits.
As the Sheriff of Payette County, I understand the risk involved in maintaining a safe and secure Jail Facility. I will examine the operating procedures of the Jail Facility to make improvements that could help the facility operate more efficiently. It is important to me that the Payette County Jail Facility operates as a safe and secure facility, maintaining compliance with the Idaho Sheriff’s Association Jail Standards.
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office operates a 72 bed Jail Facility. The original portion of the jail is a 36-bed facility that was built in 1972. It was expanded to a 72-bed facility in 2000.
The Jail Facility consists of a booking room, intoxilyzer room, detox room, 5-line cells, 9 multiple bed housing units, a medical room, law library, cafeteria, kitchen and outside recreation yard.
We have multiple Detention Deputies working at a time in the Jail Facility. These Deputies are responsible for completing any necessary inmate movements in and out of cells, cell checks, booking in new inmates, taking inmates to court, taking inmates to meals, taking inmates out for recreation, and taking inmates out for medical care.
The Jail is a complex operation and must adhere to the Idaho Jail Standards that are set by the Idaho Sheriff’s Association. The Jail is inspected annually by the Idaho Sheriffs Association. It is inspected quarterly by the Payette County Commissioners.
The Jail Standards focuses on 8 mandatory standards and numerous recommended standards. The mandatory standards are:
b. Training and Staff Development
c. Fire Safety and Emergency Procedures
d. Inmate Observation/Security Checks
e. Strip Searches and Body Cavity Searches
f. Health Care Services
g. Inmate Rights Regarding Rape, Sexual Assault, or Sexual Activity
h. Physical Facility
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office has implemented policies, procedures, training and equipment to ensure that we meet these standards. The safety of our community, Detention Deputies, and Jail Facility are of our utmost concern.
A candidate that believes in partnership with citizens to make our communities safer.