Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

By Donna Westfall – February 13, 2023

On Friday, January 27, we spent an hour with Sheriff Garrett Scott. What became apparent is that he loves his job. That was plain as day. He claims to be a Type B personality. Let’s take a look at the the differences: Type A tends to be aggressive, ambitious and competitive while Type B is more flexible, laid-back and patient. That’s probably just as well since he has so many things to deal with in his new job. Building trust and morale within and without the department being a big one.

Questions and answers:

Would you refuse to support 2nd Amendment intrusions and firearms confiscations in Del Norte County?

YES

Siskiyou County is presently under the political control of Hmong Drug Cartels with 7,000 grow sites. Are you committed to stopping Drug and Human Trafficking Cartels from gaining political control of Del Norte County?

Absolutely. Sent a couple deputies to sex trafficking school.

Do you support the Constitutional Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association and do you belong?

Yes, I support the Constitution. I am a member of the California State Sheriff’s Association (CSSA).

(Editor’s Note: CSSA – The Association was formed with the purpose of sharing resources, information, and providing assistance to Sheriffs and departmental personnel, thus¬†enabling them to improve the delivery of law enforcement services to the citizens of California. CSSA also functions as a legislative watchdog for sheriffs and their personnel on public safety issues.)

What are you doing to promote community watch groups and crime tips?

I have made myself available at numerous meetings and the disappointing thing is no one is showing up at town hall meetings. I will continue to make myself available. We also have a Facebook presence. As far as Press Releases, our media person is sick in the hospital.

What are your priorities for your department?

Hiring. Our department would be fully staffed with 80 employees. We’re currently at 56 because I hired 16 recently which includes six deputies. In the process of hiring eight more. But the process is not easy. It takes time to get them trained, going to the Academy, a lot don’t pass background checks. Pushing for local hiring.

We have these areas to cover:

  • Corrections,
  • Civil Division,
  • Dispatch,
  • Patrol,
  • Court Security and
  • Civilian Support Staff, and
  • Animal Control.

Recently your department took over Animal Control and we’re wondering why?

Other Sheriff’s departments around the state are in charge of Animal Control. We’re still working with the Animal Control staff, plus new hires are helping.

(Editor’s Note: Out of 58, looks like there are eight other counties where the Sheriff’s department oversees Animal Control. In the meantime, owners of dogs have some time on paying for their annual dog licenses this year due to the transition. Payments can be made at Animal Services Building located at 2650 W. Washington.)

We briefly touched on the subject of fentanyl which is a problem in Humboldt County and surfacing in Del Norte County. Sheriff Scott said it comes from Mexico. We’ll address this issue in the future.

Recently we were so happy to learn that two suspects arrested for stealing mail were caught by Sheriff’s deputies. Stealing mail is a federal offense. Surely they would get punished. Meanwhile one is in jail and the other was released. This brings up the question of Catch and Release. So much of our law enforcement officers time and budget are spent on repeat offenders. But we didn’t go into any details about catch and release at this interview. In the future, we’ll be talking about the Judges and District Attorney’s office which seems to be part of the that problem.

Does his department have problems? Sure they do. You can report a crime, then wait and wait and no one shows up. Or you can contact them for information, but then no one gets back to you. But be persistent and be patient. The department is groaning with growing pains.

The question is this; can this Sheriff turn the department around? We think the answer is YES but It’s going to take time.

If you need emergency help, call 911. If it’s a non-emergency call 707 464-4191.

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