What’s Happening at your Sheriff’s Office?
Following are excerpts from updates to our agency that I’d like to share with our community as we work together to better serve you:
November 1, 2013
Command Staff and agency leaders met earlier this week to develop mission and vision statements we felt best represented the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:
Our mission is to provide safe communities through dedication and professional service. Our motto will be Community First, Public Safety Always.
It is our promise that Snohomish County will have a Sheriff’s Office that is community-minded, progressive and professional.
With this vision in mind, I reflect on what this agency has accomplished over the past 100 days. We have discovered our agency’s strengths and weaknesses and found places to make improvement. I firmly believe, however, that this great agency won’t just be judged by what we accomplished in the first 100 days. We will be judged by what we do in the next 100. In everything we say and do, we must be able to answer the question, “What is the connection to our community?” Our priority must be to focus on providing good, basic services to our community.
To that end, I’d like to review with you just what we have accomplished as well as where we are going:
Staffing & Leadership
Staffing and restructuring are priorities for our agency. We have hired eight new corrections deputies, five nurses, two provisional employees, one booking assistant and currently have seven patrol deputies in FTO. We selected a new Health Services director and hired a doctor part-time to help better lead our Medical Services Unit in Corrections. We’ve partnered with the County Executive Office to resolve many of our expired labor agreements.
Patrol and investigations are essential services we provide to the community. As such, we will be eliminating the Traffic Enforcement Unit entirely and reducing the Motors Unit by three positions. Positions from these units will be moved to patrol, as well as the one vacancy we have maintained in the School Services Unit.
We are putting a plan into place that will reduce our overall annual daily population at the jail, including finding ways to keep the non-violent, mentally ill offenders out of our facility. We are close to implementing policies and procedures to make us PREA-compliant. Finally, we are looking at creating a set of best practices to reduce cost and increase efficiency. All of these initiatives we hope will help us to meet our overall goal of improving staff and inmate safety.
The “Field Operations” bureau will now simply be called “Operations”. Leadership in the Operations Bureau will map out how we can create full-service precincts, eliminating the community’s need to travel to the courthouse to receive many of our services, including fingerprinting, public records requests and weapons permits. As mentioned above, we will streamline several functions under the Staff Services Bureau to better serve our community, including the elimination of the Traffic Enforcement and Homeland Security Units, and the reduction of staff in the Motors Unit.
Technology & Communications
A proposal has been submitted to the County Council to fund the purchase of an electronic medical record system for Corrections. This type of system is very important to our future medical operations. We are currently developing an internal employee newsletter, to be launched by the New Year. We also anticipate that a new computer-aided dispatch system and a new Sheriff’s Office web-site will be launched in 2014. We will continue to be proactive in our messaging to the community by being transparent and cooperative with media requests and inquiries.
Internal Audits & Reviews
We have received the results of four independent audits conducted on our agency of: jail operations, jail medical services, records management, and law enforcement. The recommendations and best practices put forth in the documents provided by the audit teams are driving much of the implemented and proposed changes outlined above.
I want to recognize and thank each and every one of the employees of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office for their hard work these past months. There have been a lot of moving parts and many organizational changes and I recognize how hard it can be to work in an uncertain and ever-changing environment. However, I’m positive we are moving in the right direction. I’m eager to tackle the next 100 days with you.
Community First, Public Safety Always.
July 19, 2013
First, I want to thank the deputies and staff at Corrections for their hard work and patience as they are dealing with several projects and special thanks to those who have stepped up to lend a hand to our booking assistants.
Currently, I am visiting all of the precincts and partner cities to work on getting all of our commissioned staff sworn in by mid-September. It’s been great to get out of the office and talk with the deputies and officers in the field.
The Command Staff remains focused on core concerns for our agency, including recruiting, hiring, and retention. We want to continue to serve our county citizens at the highest level with the best possible service we can provide.
July 12, 2013
This week, we recognized the departure of three excellent deputies, who are all moving on to new challenges. We thank them for their hard work and they will be missed.
The Command Staff is currently meeting each morning. Our focus is to fill our vacant spots in patrol and our priority is staffing our vacant line positions.
July 8, 2013
As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, there are many changes that will be implemented over the next few weeks. The first of those changes, effective immediately, is the promotion of Brent Speyer to the position of Undersheriff and Rachelle Heinzen to the position of Bureau Chief of Operations. I have tremendous confidence in the talent, experience, and leadership that Undersheriff Speyer and Chief Heinzen will bring to their new roles in the Sheriff’s Office Command Staff.
I have asked Tom Davis to assume the role of Captain of Special Operations, which he has accepted. I want to recognize the great work Tom has done as Undersheriff, especially in these past few weeks which have been so crucial to the stability of this agency. Tom has given the Sheriff’s Office more than 25 years of his service in a variety of roles and I believe he will be a good fit for this position.
Thank you, again, for your support and I look forward to working with each of you to create a vision for this agency that best serves our community.
July 8, 2013
It is with great honor that I humbly accept the Snohomish County Council’s appointment to the position of Sheriff. I am doubly honored to have received the support from the Deputy Sheriff’s Association.
Many of you know that I have served with our agency since 1991. I am proud to wear our uniform and serve the citizens of Snohomish County.
I will continue to work hard to build upon the strengths of our agency and focus our assets on crime reduction and customer service in order to continue the finest traditions of professional excellence that are the hallmarks of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office is well respected within the community because of the efforts that each of you makes every day. It is important to maintain positive relationships in order to move our agency forward.
I cannot promise to know what the next few months will hold, but I expect to see many changes. My four primary goals as Sheriff will be: to focus on filling our vacancies at all levels within the organization; to evaluate our current use of resources and explore ways to streamline our operations; to improve internal communications; and to work cooperatively with county government and our communities.
I would like to ask for your help in managing this transition period by continuing the excellent work that each of you on a daily basis. I would also ask that you contact me at any point if you have questions, suggestions, or concerns about our future. Open communication and trust are important to the future of our agency.
Thank you for your support, your continued hard work and your dedication to our community and agency through your service.