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Shelton Mason County Journal
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Mason County Journal
July 10, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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July 10, 2014

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Page A-10 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, July 10, 2014 Sheriff's briefings help for budget season By, NATALIE JOHNSON nata/ie@masoncounty com The Mason County Sheriffs Office had briefmgs for com- mand staff, elected officials and civilians June 23-26 and June 30 on more than 25 depart- ments and programs within the Sheriffs Office. The briefings help the office prepare its budget each year, said Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury. "It keeps us updated on what is happening and what our fu- ture needs are," he said. ~hen we go to the (Mason County) commission and make our bud- get request for next year, we have a sound basis for what we're asking for. The topics discussed at the briefings included the Sheriffs Office SWAT team; firearms program; polygraph program; finance and accounting; honor guard; block watch; extra pa- trols paid for by agreements with the Timberlakes and Lake Cushman communities; forest products patrols; the Special Operations Group, known as SOG; search and rescue; re- serve programs; animal control; civil service; hostage negotia- tion; the K-9 unit; and the sex offender registry. Corporal Michael Sargent reported traffic statistics for the Sheriffs Office. In 2013, deputies wrote 1,195 tickets -- 789 for traffic viola- tions, and 285 for criminal is- sues. In the first half of 2014, officers have written 398 traffic tickets and 181 criminal tickets. In July 2013, the Sheriffs Office switched to a paperless ticket system. The traffic unit used to be a separate department from pa- trel, but in mid-2013 was rein- tegrated into the patrol unit. Sargent said the Sheriffs Of- fice recently acquired a radar trailer and additional LIDAR units. All Sheriffs Office vehicles are equipped with radar, which points in front and behind the patrol car. Radar often catches speeding vehicles, but has its limitations, Sargent said. LIDAR units are hand-held machines that can determine the speed and distance from the officer of a car. They are harder for in-car radar detectors to de- tect, he said. The Sheriffs Office has also recently acquired window tint meters to measure tinting on cars. It is illegal in Washington to have windows tinted to more than 35 percent, Sargent said. Sargent said deputies spe- cializing in traffic and collision investigation need to maintain their training, especially for hit and run calls. "It's a low-priority call, but it's a huge pocketbook (cost)," he said. There have been 96 reported collisions in Mason County this year, three of which resulted in fatalities. Sargent said deputies need driving training in their new vehicles. The Sheriffs Office is replacing its Ford Crown Victo- ria patrol cars with Ford police SUVs. Detective William Adam spoke Monday about the coun- ty's sex offender registration program, which he coordinates. As of June 2014, the county had 341 registered sex offenders on their books, which includes offenders who are incarcerated. The county has about 245 sex offenders who are required to register at any given time. Adam said this number fluxu- ates. Taking into account a popu- lation of 56,000 to 60,000 people in the county, Mason County has a per capita sex offender rate of about 6 sex offenders for every 1,000 residents. "Although we have a lot pro- portionally, we know where they're at," Salisbury said. The Sheriffs Office monitors Level 1, 2 and 3 sex offenders. The levels are based on the na- ture of the offenders crime and their likeliness to reoffend, with a Level 1 being least likely to re- offend and a Level 3 being most likely to reoffend. '~e have increased and we continue to increase," he said. The Sheriffs Office receives a grant of about $98,000 each year from the Washington As- sociation of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to pay for its sex offender registration. The grant requires the county to regularly check up on sex offenders. The Sheriffs Office is re- quired to verify addresses once a year for Level 1 offenders, twice a year for Level 2 offend- ers, four times a year for Level 3 offenders and every week for transient offenders. Both Adam and Salisbury discussed the possibility of needing a second full-time of- ricer to help with sex-offender registration. "That's a lot of responsibility for one guy," Salisbury said. Salisbury and other Sheriffs Office command staff also heard a briefing from its Special Opera- tion Group, known as SOG. The group, which consists of two Sheriffs Office detectives, a Sheriffs Office sergeant, and a part-time Squaxin Island Police detective and a state Depart- ment of Corrections officer. In the last year, the group received more than 300 reports of narcotics which resulted in 25 criminal investigations and 26 felony arrests. The group also signed up 16 new confidential informants. The group has an operational budget of $60,000 per year. According to the briefing, which was given by an under- cover member of the group, marijuana use is a concern, but heroin and meth are the biggest drug threats to the community. By NATALIE JOHNSON nata/ie@masoncounty.com For the 35th consecutive year, the Washington state Auditor's Office has given Mason County PUD 3 a clean au- dit report for 2013. The PUD received its official audit report last month. PUD 3 manager Annette Creekpaum said the PUD has had clean audits for more than three decades because em- ployees work to follow state laws and have good financial practices. years na "It's all of our money," she said. "We excellent opportunity to benchmark live here and look out for our ratepayers." our performance," she said in a state- Audits help the PUD measure its ment. "This report is a positive refiec- performance and find the best ways to tion on all PUD employees who strive operate, Creekpaum said. every day to protect the investment our "The examination of our utility by .......... the state Auditor's Office gives us an see PUD 3, page A-11 Build your own custom 6-pa& of beers and SAVE 10%! your wine i0%! ........ 'UOR & WIN IN MASON COUNTY Shelton High School Minidome 3737 N Shelton Springs Rd Free Admission Presented by the Shelton-lVlason County Chamber of Commerce and our Premier Sponsors in-kind media sponsors i] ~'~~ ..... ~ ~ ..... ~" S// i ....