I am Joel Hensley. I’ve been a deputy for the Curry County sheriff for more than 14 years.
I would like to clear up a misconception that I’ve read and heard about, that Sheriff Patrol deputies don’t assist the other law enforcement agencies in our county or provide any service to citizens that live within city limits. This statement is false!
As Sheriff Patrol deputies we attempt to assist every law enforcement agency in our jurisdiction. We continually assist with investigations, providing back up and help locate suspects and assist citizens. We even patrol city streets as part of our normal patrols.
As Sheriff Patrol deputies our sheriff allows us to do all of this without asking for permission, because it is the mission of every member of the Curry County Sheriff’s Office to continually promote and provide a feeling of safety and security to our citizens. This includes all citizens of Curry County, not just the citizens living in the unincorporated areas. As we are serving civil papers, we are continually patrolling city streets and making contact with citizens within city limits. Again, we provide the same level of customer service to all people within our county no matter where they live.
Yes, there are jurisdictions and others have a primary responsibility. That no way stops a Sheriff’s Patrol deputy from responding to a fight within city limits or responding to a crash on Highway 101 where other law enforcement agencies have the primary responsibility. As Sheriff Patrol deputies we always look to ways to improve the feeling of safety to all. We strive to make everyone safe and provide a feeling of security to all people of Curry County, our fellow officers, firefighters and EMS personnel. I’ve heard phrases like “patrol deputies only help people in the county; how will more deputies help me in the city?” I am not the sheriff, but I believe with his mission statement, as patrol deputies we would be on patrol 24 hours a day providing service to all our citizens. We would be able to respond to incidents quickly within a city limits, especially to those cities that do not have 24-hour coverage. In Brookings, where 24-hour coverage exists, we would be able to provide those officers with backup, assist with investigations and respond to quickly devolving, violent situations during the late night or early morning where their resources are low. We would assist EMS and fire personnel when they are in or responding to a potentially dangerous or overwhelming situation.
What I have written is in no way an attack on any of our local law enforcement partners or their performance or competence. I have the utmost respect for my fellow officers, troopers and administrators.
I believe the Office of Sheriff is an enigma to most. They know we exist, but they really don’t know what we do.
Thank you for your time.