Greetings, fellow members. We are into the new year and once again witnessing how quickly time flies. I hope everybody had a safe and joyful holiday.
Please excuse me for not having an article in the recent November issue — meetings and issues around the County had to be addressed.
As we continue into the new year, make sure to look out for each other and prioritize safety. In the past year, we finally dealt with two job fairs for County Services Bureau and completed another for the Community College Bureau. Unit 621 also spent considerable time in contract negotiations. By the time you read this, you should have the bonus ($1,375) and retro pay (5.5%). In addition, Security Assistants received an extra 2% increase.
Some bureaus are doing training, most (if not all) of which should be perishable skills training. Some of the training may also include career survival training. Make sure to take advantage of it. I always want each one of us to go home at the end of our shift(s). Training is where we can make mistakes and learn from them.
Body-worn cameras have been deployed for some bureaus, while other bureaus are working through the logistics.
We have a new Sheriff, so let’s make sure we put our best foot forward and work together. That leads me into the emails I have received regarding the status of the change in uniform shirt. We have all the necessary items to present our request, and we are waiting for the Department changes to go into effect. Some will happen quickly and some will take a little bit of time. But don’t despair; I will share all information as I receive it.
I also want to follow up on the protective vest issues. When speaking with Logistics, it was assured that items were in stock, but the distributor gave incorrect information. After speaking with the Logistics manager, this was addressed and he is ready to start changing your protective vests. Make an appointment, please. He also mentioned that while you’re there it’s important to bring your older Smith & Wesson firearm so you can have it swapped out. Bring your holster, as well.
Since it’s the beginning of the year, it’s helpful to check your Department profile. Some of us got married, others were divorced and some have had their families grow in size — so make sure all your documents (insurance and otherwise) are updated and in order.
As we go into this year, we are working on the 4850 time for on-duty injury coverage, and we have spoken with legislators in Sacramento. I will relay more information as I get it.
Never forget that every day you wear the uniform, you represent the Department. I am very grateful that you give me the opportunity to address items not just for today and tomorrow, but for the long-term future as well.
In the coming months, I will begin doing unit visits to hear your comments and concerns. I have had the pleasure of working side by side with some of you, but if I haven’t met you, please know I don’t shy away from working other bureaus. With that being said, I know a few of you have heard about the personnel shortages at County Services Bureau and Community College Bureau. Communications and Fleet Division is looking for extra personnel to work their detail. Please send Department email to Sergeant Jose Rios for more info.
We have reached out to Employee Relations to request an update on the next Sheriff’s Security Officer Academy, and we are waiting on a response. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Security Assistant job classification has opened, but no word if there are shortages or the Department is just getting a feel for the job classification.
Soon, we will try to have a 3×5 card for Sheriff’s Security Officers to maintain in your pocket in order to help if you are involved in a Department shooting. The card will have details about the important rights afforded to you.
In the last year, we have had had a number of our classification personnel retire and some who passed away. Each one of them has taught us special things. Let’s not forget the laughs, and make sure to take care of yourselves. Until the next issue…