As 2013 comes to a close, I want to thank the citizens of Whatcom County for their continued support of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. During 2013, we experienced significant budget issues that challenged our ability to continue service levels. Despite this, we were able to maintain the Birch Bay neighborhood deputy program and achieve success in our efforts to eradicate gang violence throughout the community.
With the assistance of local, state and federal law enforcement, the sheriff’s office continues to organize periodic “round-ups” of gang members and other habitual criminals.
These efforts have succeeded in taking some of the most notorious criminals off the streets of Whatcom County. An investigator has been assigned to the prosecuting attorney’s office to prevent witness intimidation and assist prosecutors in successfully prosecuting the relatively small number of criminals who are responsible for most crime.
With a limited number of deputies, the sheriff’s office provides direct police services to over 110,000 people in unincorporated Whatcom County, supports city police departments and covers a geographical area that is larger than the entire state of Delaware.
To meet this mission, we have increased our use of technology to ensure existing personnel can be as efficient and effective as possible. Last month, the sheriff’s office implemented a desperately needed records management system that will facilitate crime fighting and information-lead policing. Systems were also installed to allow a better tracking of traffic safety issues and more efficient enforcement.
The council recently approved the purchase of land to replace the current undersized, inefficient and dilapidated jail.
The proposed replacement facility will greatly enhance safety and efficiencies and will allow the delivery of mental health and educational services designed to reduce recidivism.
On behalf of the members of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, have a safe and healthy New Year.