On behalf of all members of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It’s an honor to serve you.
In this era of calls for “police reform,” we are fortunate to serve such a supportive community that recognizes the professionalism of our deputies; the training they receive and the standards they adhere to.
To further public trust we will be adopting a body-worn camera program in 2021.
The year 2020 was a very challenging time for our entire community and law enforcement was no exception. Our ability to maintain full operational strength was affected by a hiring freeze that resulted from declines in county revenues; closures at the police academy that impaired our ability to train new deputies; personnel illness and mandated closures of some functions of our office. We anticipated more significant staffing reductions but very fortunately that was for the most part, averted.
We are pleased to report that we will be continuing the Birch Bay Neighborhood Deputy program and thank deputy Todd Damon for his phenomenal performance in this role. In January, deputy Derek Jones will replace Todd as your neighborhood deputy. Deputy Jones is a very experienced and community-oriented law enforcement officer, and I have no doubt he will be well received.
We will continue our Mental Health Deputy Program with two deputies. The program is very successful and is coordinated with the increased myriad of services provided by the Whatcom County Health Department. A new crisis stabilization center will facilitate more diversion and treatment will be open shortly.
We were awarded generous grants to purchase an ocean-going vessel to patrol coastal areas such as Birch Bay and it will even reach Point Roberts. The vessel will be moored at Blaine marina.
The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office annual report can be viewed online here.