As I talk with Madera County citizens the issues they are most concerned about continue to be: Service response times, marijuana grows and drug activity near their residences or places of business, increased property crime, and protection of their 2nd Amendment rights. To address these crime concerns we have:
Improved our uniform resource availability to combat serious crime by creating a Valley and a Mountain Problem Oriented Policing sergeant. These positions assist in coordinating response to crime problems beyond what the patrol deputy has time/ability to follow up on. We continue to restore vacant deputy positions by working with the County to identify funding for these positions. We review and pursue grant funding for permanent or overtime activities that benefit our communities.
Added a number of new reserve deputy sheriffs to our ranks. However, like almost every volunteer organization we speak to, it is a difficult climate to gain all of the volunteer/part time paid personnel needed. Utilization of reserve officers to assist full time deputies in providing the entire range of enforcement services countywide remains vital. We still believe that a well-trained reserve deputy corps will help stabilize the level of service offered by the MSO.
We anticipate the establishment of a cadet program in 2017 that will provide additional resources that can assist the deputies and full time non-sworn personnel in providing service to Madera County, while providing a needed pool of qualified candidates for future sworn and non-sworn openings.
Continue to emphasize increased, cost-effective use of technology to get the maximum value from the efforts of our best resource-our employees. Implementing an on-line reporting process that citizens can utilize if they desire to is still in the works while we wait for our vendor to make the required improvements to offer this service to you. Increasing the use of public/private partnerships that improve law enforcement service delivery will also be necessary. We have begun this partnership with one school district in order to improve our response in times of emergencies.
In 2016, The Madera County Sheriff’s Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization was formed to assist with scholarships for those who wish to enter the law enforcement field, for training, for special equipment acquisition, and for ongoing costs of the newly re-established K9 unit. www.maderacsf.org
Improved community outreach to help stem the demand for law enforcement services. Greater cooperation with our county service providers and regional partners in providing mentoring, educational, and faith based programs that have proven effective in redirecting our young people into productive lifestyles is our goal.
Under my leadership, the sheriff’s office continues to focus on citizen safety and protection of rights as provided by the California, and United States Constitution. Issuance of CCW permits will remain available on a “shall issue” basis subject to the existing background review process. Successful completion of the required application, fee payment and demonstration of firearms safety and proficiency will remain a required portion of the process.