Sheriff Evan’s Memo to the Board.
Sheriff John Evans has often spoken before the Board of Supervisors about the problems of the office. Now he’s written a memo which spells the needs out clearly.
Here are excerpts:
#01) Allow the following promotions within the sheriff’s office. I am critically strained in this area and I desperately need help. The lack of effective supervisors within the office has a detrimental effect on the staff morale and operations and service to the public. These requests are not simply for promotions from II to III for pay increases, but are realistically for the supervisory functions of the sheriff’s
A) Undersheriff: This request is for immediate approval and implementation. I currently have personnel qualified for this position. I need an undersheriff to be the jail commander, the west county/main office patrol commander, bailiff/courts and evidence system supervisor; and the over all personnel supervisor. I have never had an undersheriff. This puts me in a very difficult position of always being the point person on all personnel matters. This fact in and of itself should be a preclusion in that during personnel matters, the sheriff is supposed to be at the top of the office chain in the event there is a staff disciplinary matter.
B) Patrol Sergeant/Sierra Valley Substation: This request is for immediate approval and implementation. I currently have personnel qualified for this position. I need a patrol sergeant to provide frequent and direct supervision of the day-to-day operations of the staff working out of the Sierra Valley Substation. I have never had a supervisor based out of that office and I have done my best to do it myself but I cannot do so to the level that is necessary. The majority of the population of this county is served by the substation (about 2/3 of county residents).
C) Officer Manager Promotion for Secretary to the Sheriff: This request is for immediate approval and implementation. I currently have personnel qualified for this position. I currently have a person who is classified and paid as a corrections-communications officer II, a mid level position, who is doing most of the day-to-day work of the sheriff’s office internal administrative operations, which would normally be done by an administrative sergeant.
D) Corrections-Communications Sergeant from Officer: This request is for immediate approval with the intention to fill in six months, pending on a qualified person being interested and available. This position was created years ago and has yet to be filled.
#02) Change Personnel Code/Job Descriptions of Deputies for Necessary Emergency Response Times: I am asking the Board to support badly needed changes in the job descriptions and personnel code to facilitate all prospectively hired deputy sheriffs to live within certain response times/areas to be available for emergency calls for the public and other on-duty sheriff’s office staff; “back-up” with an expectation of being readily available more often than not. In the past several years the sheriff’s office has gotten away from “resident deputy” positions when staff have been hired and we have gone to a vague tolerance of an assigned “duty station”…
A) Re-Establish Resident Post Area Deputy Sheriffs: I am requesting that the county reinstate the process of designating newly hired deputy sheriffs for pre-described areas to be immediately able to respond to/from. I request that these deputies have a minimum of a five minute response time to the center of the below listed six Post Areas. I suggest that the center be described similarly in each community: post office, meeting hall and/or main fire house. I request the designated resident post areas be as follows, with three on each side of the county:
#01) Main Office/Downieville Command/Duty Station:
a) Townsites of Downiville and Goodyears Bar, Beat One.
b) Townsites of Alleghany and Pike City, Beat Two.
c) Townsite of Sierra City and the Communities of Bassetts and Fournier
Ranch, Beat Four.
#02) Sierra Valley Substation/Loyalton Command/Duty Station:
a) City of Loyalton & Community of Sierra Brooks, Beat Six.
b) Western Sierra Valley: Townsites of Sierraville, Sattley & Calpine, Beat
c) Townsite of Verdi, Beat Seven.
B) Limit and Enforce Command/Duty Station Responses to 30 Minutes for all Non-
Resident Post Area Deputy Sheriffs: I am requesting that all future hired deputy sheriffs have to have a minimum response time of thirty minutes to their assigned and hired for command/duty station and must be there within 60 days of hiring. This is for all staff not already in a resident deputy position. Once the six previously described resident post area deputy sheriff positions are filled, future deputy sheriffs can live where ever they want, including out of the county, so long as they are still within a thirty minute response time to their assigned station. The two regionally served offices are:
1) Main Office/Downieville Command/Duty Station, Dispatch & Jail.
B) 2) Sierra Valley Substation/Loyalton Command/Duty Station.
Editor’s note: Requiring deputies to live in county will decrease the number of applicants and might lower the quality of people who apply. Living “in county” is an on-going problem for all departments. However, see item #6, below.
#03) Increase Staff Probation Periods of Six Months: An industry trend throughout the State and elsewhere has been to increase the probationary period of a new hires. In the past the norm has been 12 months. For the past ten years or so, many agencies have gone to 18 months or 24 months.
Currently the deputy sheriffs here have an 12 month probation period and the corrections communications officer have only a 6 month probationary period. In a department of this size it often takes years for new hires to truly become exposed to some of the major trials and tribulations of these jobs. I personally have found that new hires can effectively hide or diminish negative attributes for long periods of time. There have been staff, that almost in infamy, passed our relatively short probation period to become extremely management intensive employees. A longer probation period may have vetted-out that/those new employees’ traits and may have prevented substantial costs and hardships to the sheriff’s office and county. I am requesting the below 6 month extensions to the probation periods of sheriff’s office staff, including for promotions:
A) Deputy Sheriffs to 18 Months Probation Period.
B) Corrections-Communications Officers to 12 Months Probation Period.
#04) Approve the Hiring of Additional Full-Time Staff: I have been sheriff-coroner for the past three years. I have yet to be fully funded or fully staffed. I believe that the sheriff’s office staff and I have done more than our part at the cost cutting within the county budget. We are at a critically low staffing level right now. I am unable to provide a realistically adequate response to the public, my on-duty staff or the inmates regarding safety…
We are too small and there are too many out of our control and unpredictable variables that occur for this sheriff’s office to continue at these woefully understaffed levels. Especially since we are required to maintain the safety and care for the inmates in the jail. A regular jail population that has doubled for the past year or so. We used to have roughly 4 to 6 inmates, not unusual to have 1 or 2. This past year or so we have steadily had 8 to 10 here in our jail in Downieville and 1 to 3 on a regular basis at Nevada County.
#05) Up-Hold and Return to Agreement to Fund Two Patrol Cars Every Year: I have been told that the previous sheriff had an agreement from the Board to fund the purchase of 2 replacement patrol cars every year and/or when the patrol cars reach 100 thousand miles on them, which is what the C.H.P. uses as their replacement mileage for regular patrol cars. I understand that money is very tight, for all of us.
I have been sheriff for the past three years. In that time, the sheriff’s office has only purchased two patrol cars and as of today, only one has been received.
#06) Authorize Stipend/Pay Increase 5% for Resident Post Area Deputy Sheriffs: I request that the Board consider the allowance of a stipend pay amount to help incentivize deputy sheriffs to live within the county and actually the communities they serve. It is already difficult to acquire deputy sheriffs to this area and any pay incentive may assist in providing deputy sheriffs that live here. This is a possible tool
to help promote and foster the ideals of a truly community oriented based sheriff’s office, with officers and their family’s living in the communities and raising their children here in our schools, etcetera.
You can read the entire memo on line HERE