In the March, 2013 Issue:
The Benton County Sheriff's Office Reserves are again sponsoring a Benton County Drug Take-Back event. This event provides a safe environment for the community to dispose of old and unused medications, keeping those drugs out of the hands of children, criminals, and out of the water system. The Drug Take-Back event will be on Saturday, 27 April, at the Benton County Fairgrounds, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Controlled, non-controlled and over-the-counter substances from individual households may all be collected. Examples include:
PLEASE DO NOT BRING…
On January 9, 2013, Sheriff Diana Simpson conducted her annual "State of the Office" meeting for all members of the Benton County Sheriff's Office. Every January, Sheriff Simpson holds a meeting to share information about the accomplishments of not only all of the Sheriff's Office, but each division (Law Enforcement, Parole and Probation, Jail, and Emergency Management/Search and Rescue). Additionally, she outlines the goals for the coming year and into the future. This year she acknowledged and commended all members:
February 6th marked the 10th Annual BCSO Awards and Recognition Event. This important event allows the Office to recognize the truly outstanding work and contributions of its members.
Sheriff Simpson invited the four-legged pals of the BCSO staff to join their two-legged friends at work for the day in January.
Bring your dog to work day guest "Sophie" had this to say about the event "Bark, bark, bark. I'll take all questions at the end of the press conference."
Dog treats were enjoyed by all.
"As a Sheriff, I have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Oregon and the laws thereof. That is my responsibility and I take it seriously. This also means that by taking this oath I have and will support the Second Amendment rights of our citizens. I have been and will continue to be a strong supporter of our Oregon Concealed Handgun License program and have worked with our State Legislature to ensure that the rights of license holders are upheld and that their personal information remains confidential.
"I appreciate the concerns that many have communicated to me. I will continue to advocate for public safety and our citizen's rights. Everyone has a stake in this issue and my hope is that as a county, a state and a nation we can work together to stop the tragic events that we have recently been faced with.
"I do support 2nd amendment rights and have no intention of violating those rights for law abiding citizens. I also support the 23 directives from President Obama and the 'four common-sense steps we can take right now'. Nothing in anything I have read, seen, or heard regarding this approach leads me to believe there is a violation of 2nd amendment rights. I have also not read, seen, or heard anything that would lead me to believe the federal government intends to ban all firearms. I also want to make it perfectly clear that if the Supreme Court determines that any part of any gun or firearm legislation is a violation of 2nd amendment rights, I will not enforce those laws and will not expect any member of the Benton County Sheriff's Office to enforce those laws."
Thanks to astute and observant efforts by Sgt. Ryan Moody, Thomas Carroll (one of our long time well-known local criminals) was arrested within minutes of the robbery of the Super 8 hotel. Sgt. Moody is applauded for his detection and deductive skills that led to Carroll's arrest.
In January, Deputy Aaron Gevatosky responded to a single vehicle traffic crash. The front of the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames and bystanders indicated there was a man trapped inside. Deputy Gevatosky used his entire fire extinguisher, as well as a second one provided by a citizen, but was unable to extinguish the flames. Deputy Gevatosky, with the aid of two citizens, pulled the driver out of the vehicle and rendered medical aid until medical and fire personnel arrived. The Medal of Valor was awarded to Deputy Gevatosky for his actions.
The first ever Citizens Emergency Response Team launched training in February. The CERT program educates citizens about disaster preparedness for local hazards and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and hands-on exercises, CERT members will be able to assist their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.
Benton County Jail now offers e-mail as a service for friends and family members of inmates. Friends and family can go to an online service (InmateCanteen.com) and sign up for an account. Once established, e-mails can then be sent to the inmate. The inmate can use the kiosk in the inmate dayroom to respond to that email. Both parties are charged a nominal fee for the service (less than the cost of letter postage). The ability to communicate in a more efficient time frame is especially nice for family members that live out of town.
Undersheriff Scott Jackson was accepted to the FBI Leadership Academy and is scheduled to attend from early April 2013 through mid-June 2013. There are very few applicants that are accepted throughout the state and the nation and to be accepted is quite an honor for not only the applicant, but the agency. We wish Scott the best of luck as he goes through the FBI Academy.
Congratulations to Judge Janet Holcomb, who retired after more than 15 years of distinguished service to Benton County.
Deputy Cody Ponder received congratulations from the DPSST Director of Training upon achieving the Physical Fitness Award for Basic Police Class 332. "Deputy Ponder has demonstrated an understanding of the importance of physical fitness in this chosen career and serves as a role model for other public safety professionals."
Congratulations to newly sworn Deputy Brian Lundy. A long-time Reserve Deputy, Lundy joined the BCSO ranks in February.
Parole and Probation officer Meghan Lee excelled in defensive tactics and received the Defensive Tactics Award from the DPSST in February. She "displayed exemplary skill" and "proficiency in controlling hostile persons, which frequently reduces injuries to officers and those controlled..."
Thanks go out to Deputy Christopher Dale for helping a citizen to describe and ultimately recover her stolen property.
BCSO EMSAR's Mary King received a glowing commendation from the director of the Military Dept. of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management. She worked with the department from October 2011 to January 2013 to develop a funding formula for Oregon. "She performed her tasks in an exemplary manner...was organized, efficient, and held up under...pressure. Her 'can do' attitude,...work ethic...and dedicated professionalism were always evident and greatly appreciated by the other committee members...She is a credit to your County." Awesome job, Mary!
Lincoln County Emergency Management is appreciative of BCSO Emergency Management member Eric Rau, his knowledge, research skills, and contributions.
Undersheriff Scott Jackson extended sincere thanks to the entire office for another successful Christmas parade. "I am convinced the hard work and contribution you all put forth benefits the SO in many ways by fostering community appreciation and support."
A Kiger Island resident expresses thanks to Deputy Cody Ponder and Deputy Rick Fontaine for assisting with an incident, giving the resident sound advice and following up. She "appreciates the fact that men and women are willing to work in law enforcement" in such dangerous and frustrating times.
The Arc honors businesses who hire individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and wants the Sheriff and "the entire community to know that..[what the BCSO does is valued]...and appreciate the example...set for others" by demonstrating that barriers to employment can be overcome.
Deputy Eric Konzelman received thanks from a grateful CPD parent after giving a daughter a lesson and reality check about winter roads and driving hazards.
Marine Patrol Deputy Eric Konzelman and Deputy Kyle Cooper were in the right place at the right time to help a stranded and hurt couple following a kayaking accident in the Willamette river last Fall. After a fall into the water and a cold overnight stay on the brambly riverbank, the couple was rescued after the husband trekked to find help. The deputies helped with transport and were also able to retrieve all the soggy possessions, including the submerged kayak.
Black ice on Hwy 99 created a parents' nightmare in January. Fortunately, Deputy Aaron Gevatovsky was able to help a young man and reassure a distraught parent after a crash near midnight. The Salem parent could hear Gevatovsky over the phone and could hear all of his "kindness and...helpfulness and thankful that your demeanor was very comforting" to her son.
Deputy Justin Bowers received enthusiastic thanks from pack 259 Bear Cubs, for his time, "love and care," and for teaching them about law enforcement.
Cpl Al Schermerhorn provided a citizen with some real-life experience during a ride-along and received sincere thanks.
The OSSA SARAC (Oregon search and rescue organizations) curriculum committee and Lane Search and Rescue Coordinator "thank the Sheriff for supporting their success" by loaning them Benton County's EMSAR manager Mary King. "Without Mary's assistance and input we would never have achieved [the] goal" of creating a weeklong course to "allow search managers to effectively run a mission" and dealt with 90% of the cases encountered.
Parole and Probation Officer Cody Smith impressed a client with his "kindness...and service." Probation gives clients the chance to get back on their feet and be honest about the situation.
A grateful friend acknowledges several of the Office deputies who responded to an accident and fatality on Sulfur Springs Road in November. Deputies Fontaine, Gevatosky, Iverson, Iverson, Nowak, and Schermerhorn were "the epitome of professionalism" demonstrating "the ultimate sensitivity, and compassion..."
Very appreciative parents thank Sheriff Simpson and Deputies Jerry Williams, Eric Konzelman, Randy Hiner, and Brad Dyke for their "professional and compassionate demeanor" while helping their distressed daughter. Their care "exemplifies the best of law enforcement and spirit of community" and their daughter is thriving in part due to their contributions.