By Donna Westfall – January 9, 2018 –
Sheriff Erik Apperson swore in two new officers at the January 9th Board of Supervisors meeting: John Gale from Fresno, and Brian Donahue born in Arcata and serving the Yurok Tribe. After taking the Oath of Office, Tribal Council leader, David Gensaw, Sr., got up with crutch in hand, to congratulate Sheriff Apperson for cross-deputizing Officer Donahue.
Also welcomed as new employees to the Sheriff’s department were Michelle Banks, Rebecca Harmon and Danielle Southard as correctional officers and dispatchers. Ms. Southard graduated from Castle Rock and wrestled in high school, which she asked her Sheriff not to mention. Gotta love him.
Cross-deputization deserves another few minutes explanation. Under former Sheriff Dean Wilson, his relationship became so toxic with the Tribe that Wilson ordered dispatch to not take calls in the Klamath area that could have been handled by cross-deputized Tribal officers. Instead, waits of up to 20 minutes resulted from having Sheriff’s deputies dispatched to handle any problems. One of Apperson’s campaign promises was to work with the Yurok tribe. This allows officers that are cross-deputized to enforce state laws both on and off tribal lands, and also be called upon to take part in high speed chases.
Tribal Council leader, David Gensaw, Sr., hopes to see more tribal officers cross-deputized.