Sheriff News: Partnering for a Safer Community

By Sheriff Staff13 Deputy Maller's K-9 Taz trains with a Robot

The benefits of body worn cameras by police are comparable to in-car video recordings. They both provide an impartial recording of events. Body worn cameras have added flexibility of following the officer or deputy into the field (when they go out of range of an in-car camera). They can be activated by voice command or the push of a button.

The prevailing thought is that video offers an opportunity to strengthen officer and offender accountability and to decrease use of force complaints. This technology also has the benefit of protecting officers from unsubstantiated citizen complaints.

Oregon House Bill 2571 passed in June, with the support of Oregon Sheriffs and Chiefs of police. It basically requires jurisdictions that choose to deploy body worn cameras to have a policy that meets baseline requirements. It also exempts camera footage from public records disclosure largely to protect victims, unless the public interest warrants release.

Finally, we must all realize how much perspective matters. A deputy will not see every detail captured by video and may see details the video camera will miss.

As your Sheriff, I can assure you that this agency will implement new technologies only after careful evaluation of the costs, risks, and potential benefits to law enforcement and the Washington County community. We plan to pilot such cameras in October.

How Fast Will You Know When There is an Emergency?

Reverse 911 allows our communications center to send alerts to specific areas about police actions, fire evacuations, or many other situations. They can send the alert to people within a given radius of an emergency.

The messages provide information or instructions to help you know how to react. You must register to receive the alerts. You can receive the messages via your landline, cellular phone, email, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone.

On Monday, August 10, the Washington County Communications Center sent an alert to 7,000 Sherwood residents to warn that a train trestle fire was emitting toxic smoke. People needed to close windows and stay indoors. Only half of the residents received the message because so many have given up their landline telephones.

The great news is that you can register almost any type of phone. Sign up now to be sure you will get these disaster or high level emergency alerts. Registering takes less than a minute, and it is free! Visit: www.wccca.com.

Sheriff’s Canines Train with Robots: Two Heads Can Be Better Than One!

Your Sheriff’s Office Canine Team and Remotely Operated Vehicle Team (Robot Team) recently trained together to be better equipped for handling dangerous or volatile incidents in Washington County. These resources make deputies even more effective. For instance, robots can safely enter a hostage situation or a K-9 can track to the bad guy’s hiding spot. Look at Taz’s tongue!

For more information:

www.wcsheriff-or.com