The Payette County Sheriff’s Office has worked with TVCC and CWI students over the last several years. These students are going through college to learn more about the law enforcement profession. Law Enforcement is a profession that contains a lot of hands on experience. As part of that we would like to help these students develop and learn how we work.
Mentorships through these schools are coordinated with the Division Administrator. We typically schedule time for the student to work an entire shift in one Division. Students do not have police powers and are not able to perform most tasks that we are required to do. A student typically shadows our Deputies, which gives them an opportunity to see the way that we handle numerous situations. It also gives them an opportunity to ask questions and get reliable answers.
We have hired numerous college students that have become connected to our Department through one of these schools. We have had several of our employees work with TVCC as instructors. These employees are Sheriff Chad Huff, Lt. Andy Creech, Lt. Brandon Stromberg, and Detective Jason Jones. These instructors have helped create bonds with our community and recruit new employees for our office.
One of the duties of the Sheriff, set by Idaho State Law, is to serve civil papers. We serve numerous types of civil papers. These papers include subpoenas, summons, complaints, protection orders, writ of ejectment, writ of execution, writ of possession, writ of restitution, order to show cause, contempt of court orders, notice of hearings, small claims lawsuits, and garnishments. The Payette County Sheriff’s Office currently employs a full-time civil clerk to process all of the civil papers. The Payette County Sheriff’s Office Civil Clerk processes approximately 1800 papers in a year. The papers can be categorized in these areas:
One of the functions that the Sheriff’s Office performs is conflict management and resolution for our citizens. We are often called to neighborhoods to help neighbors come to resolutions over dogs, ordinance violations, irrigation water and other problems. Our duty in these situations is to enforce any criminal laws that have been broken, but beyond our requirement of enforcing laws, our focus is to help neighborhoods come to resolutions and protecting our citizens.
We often find that these conflicts between neighbors can grow and lead into numerous new complaints. These types of conflicts make living and enjoying the peacefulness of Payette County very difficult. Our Deputies will come to your neighborhood, meet with all of the parties involved and try to help everyone reach a resolution. Our Deputies handle all situations with the utmost professionalism.
Quite often when we contact neighbors, they ask why the complainant did not contact them before contacting the Payette County Sheriff’s Office. Sometimes this sets a bad tone to the situation before we have even begun. We encourage neighbors to meet with each other when they feel it is safe to attempt to work out conflicts. We also ask that they contact the Payette County Sheriff’s Office before things get out of hand.
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office has used recording devices for decades. As technology has progressed, we have adjusted to it and changed our methods of operations. We used to use pocket recorders that recorded audio on a tape. When digital pocket recorders came out, we transitioned to using digital recorders. We have now transitioned to using digital video body-worn cameras to record all contacts with the public.
Body-worn cameras have become the industry standard for law enforcement officers across our nation. We use the video recordings for both criminal and civil proceedings when necessary. The body-worn cameras are not always pointed in the right direction to catch all of the desired images during a contact with our citizens. Even when the video camera does not show what is going, the audio will still record what is being said.
The videos from the body-worn cameras do take up more hard drive space. There are laws in the State of Idaho that require the videos to be retained. We maintain our videos in compliance with the laws in the State of Idaho. The videos have helped juries understand incidents more clearly. We have sat down with several citizens in the days following a contact to review the videos and talk about things that occurred during the law enforcement contact. These videos are helpful to the administration, prosecution, jury, and citizens. The Payette County Sheriff’s Office uses the videos to monitor our Deputies activities and successfully prosecute cases.
One call that the Payette County Sheriff’s Office handles regularly throughout the year is dogs running at large. We find that Payette County residents often don’t realize that it is illegal to allow dogs to run at large in the county.
Payette County does not have a dog at large ordinance and it also does not have a dog kennel to impound dogs. However, there is an Idaho State law that prohibits dogs running at large. The State law requires that the dog owner be served with a written warning prior to a citation being issued.
If a complainant wants to file a report about a dog at large, there are several things that are helpful for prosecution. If the case was to go to trial, the Payette County Prosecutors Office would like to have evidence that shows the dog was in fact at large. Complainants can help strengthen the case by taking photos or videos of the offending dog when it was clearly off of the owner’s property. In addition to that, we need to know who owns the dog in order to serve them with a written warning or citation. The last critical piece to a dog at large case is that we need a complainant who is willing to sign a citation against the dog owner. If our Deputies do not witness the dog running at large, then they are not able to sign the citation against the dog owner.
Dogs running at large can become a nuisance that causes many neighborhood problems. The Payette County Sheriff’s Office recommends that neighbors talk with each other about these neighborhood problems and see if a resolution can be reached prior to involving law enforcement, if at all possible. Neighbors who are able to reach their own resolution typically live in a pleasant neighborhood. We often see where a dog at large complaint can grow into numerous other complaints from one neighbor to another. Neighbors who are able to talk to each other can often avoid numerous complaints and constant law enforcement involvement.
A candidate that believes in partnership with citizens to make our communities safer.