As the looming cloud of Measure J builds, both the County and Sheriff’s Department have yet to fully grasp the effect on our operations. The who, what and when are still up in the air. The only certainty is the fact it is effective July 1.
Having staved off closures/curtailments of South Facility and both Parks and College bureaus, employees were able to exhale, if only temporarily. Discussions continue to take place about the potentially ranging effects, and I will update you as information that directly impacts our classification becomes available.
We recently held our first delegates meeting of 2021 via Zoom. Prior to that, I met, also via Zoom, with our Custody Assistant delegates to have a personal conversation with them to hear out the specific questions they had regarding the position and their individual facilities. I plan to continue meeting with delegates either monthly or every other month in between our PPOA delegates meetings. Furthermore, I intend to host an open meeting via Zoom with all Custody Assistants in addition to continued in-person briefings.
Additionally, I am in the process of developing a new survey for Custody Assistants. The last one was completed in 2007, and over that time span, things have definitely changed. The foundation of the survey will be based on discussions I’ve had with several of you, as well as my own personal thoughts. After the data has been compiled, I will make the results available to you so that you all are aware of the direction in which we’ll be headed. The results of this survey will allow for a prioritization of goals related to the position of Custody Assistant.
Another goal for 2021 is to establish email groups for the station admin jailers and court C/As to focus and exchange information on things specific to their units and positions.
We’ll also be looking at the role of a C/A on the Emergency Response Team. The Department’s unwillingness to provide equipment and additional training to function efficiently is substantially creating increased potential risk and liability. Some units no longer utilize C/As in that capacity, so it just feels like it’s time to conclude this particular chapter in our history.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
In closing, I would like to acknowledge our three Custody Assistant Academy Drill Instructors: Emilee Rutton, Mario Rangel and Timothy Adams. They were recently honored for their role in writing the Academy curriculum. Their dedication, expertise and work ethic in preparing new employees for the challenges within the walls of custody are an incredible asset to our classification and the Department. Thank you!