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Cache deputies expanding service, coverage, sheriff tells Providence

November 10th, 2015 Posted in Opinion

By Amanda Wray

PROVIDENCE – Since July, Providence has seen 151 more hours of service from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office than it did in during the same period last year.

JensenChadSheriff Chad Jensen has implemented the changes at the Sheriff’s Office since being sworn into office in January. He told the City Council that the changes allow the department to provide better services to Providence.

The city’s current $72,697 contract with the Sheriff’s Office started in July, and provides for 1,498 hours of deputy coverage beyond the 2,227 hours the city gets from paying county taxes, Jensen said.

During the 2013-2014 contract year, deputies provided a total of 4,443 hours of service, answered 1,325 calls, wrote 755 traffic citations, issued 208 warnings and made 136 arrests in Providence, Jensen said.

If this year continues at the same rate, the city will receive 4,920 hours of deputy service, 1,416 service calls, 768 traffic citations and 264 warnings by next July, he said.

“Numbers are boring, but I use those a lot to gauge what kind of service we are providing to your community,” he said. “We work for you.”

Councilman Ralph Call thinks Jensen has brought “new energy” to the sheriff’s department.

Jensen told the Council that his experience working in the department since 1992 led him to implement some changes to increase efficiency.

“We ran the Sheriff’s Office the same way for 25 years that I’ve been there,” Jensen said. “I put new eyes and new bodies into every position in our office to get a new look, and they’ve come up with some great ideas on how we can streamline and be more efficient in the things that we do.”

Restructuring the office has been a big change. Jensen reassigned all 16 sergeants to new jobs and reduced the administrative staff by re-aligning administrative duties and hiring entry-level deputies to fill the holes. He’s reallocated $800,000 to office staff salaries, which has reduced a high turnover rate, but Jensen says that still only puts their wages mid-level of a low market.

“In the last five years, we’ve lost 52 employees,” he said. “So far this year, I’ve lost three to retirement and one due to disciplinary action. We’re doing great on turnover and that is a big deal, because that affects what we can do as far as the services we can provide for you.”

Deputy patrols have been moved to 8-hour shifts instead of 10-hour shifts, which Jensen says has helped coverage because deputies don’t require a day off between shifts.

The sheriff said he has also tried to increase communication between his office and the cities it contracts with, something Providence’s Council has been impressed with, Councilman Jeff Bagley said.

“It is very refreshing to see the sheriff here and not a representative, and his desire to be in communication with the city,” Bagley said. “I’m sure there will be nothing but improvement from here on out.”


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