Sheriff’s Message, Week of July 5th
After a wonderful vacation, it is back to the fast paced tempo. The first day back included a plane crash, arson house fire, flooding, flooding, and more flooding. I want to add, that when I ran for Sheriff, I adamantly stated there was no need for a “second-in-command” philosophy if decentralization was correctly established. I monitored the organization for 10 days, and I can tell you that they all did exceptionally well, and the system works.
Hopefully you enjoyed your July 4th celebration. Many might be wondering about all the illegal fireworks. During the night, there were 35 illegal fireworks calls to our dispatch center. This is, in addition to normal domestic violence, 911, D.U.I.s, and other daily calls for service. As you can imagine, there is just no possible way we can respond to those July 4th firework calls. The system becomes overloaded, and we must prioritize our resources. However, on any other night of the year, we will respond.
We noted some heated discussion about the arson house fire this week. There is no doubt that mental illness is a component in the case; however, I personally have very little sympathy when someone deliberately endangers the lives of our first responders, many who are volunteers. This includes our firefighters, paramedics, and deputies as they try to contain a structure fire from spreading onto neighboring homes, and evacuating people and pets from the home. House fires are extremely dangerous because of the unknown chemicals and substances that are in the home.
Although many of you are forced to buy the ATV off road sticker, there is now in excess of $1.2m in the state’s Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) fund. Earlier this year we submitted a request and were awarded $26k to purchase a new 4-pack ATV for our Search & Rescue. This ATV will give SAR greater capability to search remote Lyon County. We also were awarded $29k in grant funding to begin registered sex offender compliance checks. Unfortunately, Lyon County has one of the highest registered sex offender densities in the state.
The Sheriff’s Office Strategic Plan 2015-2019 will be briefed at the Fernley City Council meeting on Wednesday July 15th and to the Board of County Commissioners on Thursday July 16th. We will be posting it on our internet site once it is up and running. The document is a thick read, so if you want the reader’s digest version, you might want to come out to one of the meetings this week.
And finally, we spent time on lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan, at a point 50 miles from the Canadian border, on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.