Calif. sheriff’s office looks to restart daytime patrols in Feb. By:

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By George Johnston
Red Bluff Daily News

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RED BLUFF, Calif. — The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office is eying a return to daytime services and reopening its front offices in February.

The sheriff’s office intends on Feb. 1 to reopen the front office to regular business hours Monday through Friday. Later in the month, they are looking to return to day shift services on Feb. 26.

Sheriff Dave Kain came to the Tehama County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to provide an update on his department’s staffing and services.

In the middle of 2022, the sheriff’s office was down to around 19 total positions. Kain said despite their efforts in recruiting; his department was still down 28 positions. Personnel was reassigned from all specialty assignments back to the jail and patrol to help pick up the slack.

As a result, the sheriff’s office entered into a temporary contract with the Red Bluff Police Department to help with dispatch when staffing levels were so low dispatch could not be maintained.

“The positive out of that event was that we were able to increase the salary for dispatch based on field recruitment allowed by this board, and that immediately changed our trend and retention and slowly has assisted us in our recruitment.”

With the level of vacancies, Kain said his office found itself reducing office hours, reducing services and many times contemplating suspending patrols hours.

In September 2021, Supervisor Candy Carlson spearheaded the need for a compensation study. Even with the pay increase recommended by the study and approved by the supervisors, Kain said his office needed more staff to meet the statutorily required services it should provide.

As a result of these issues, six deputy sheriffs transitioned from patrol to the jail division to the current mandatory staffing of the jail and bailiff.

Kain’s department used a staffing model previously used by a county in Oregon, experiencing the same type of staffing shortages and its structure on how to move forward. The sheriff’s office has moved deputies to the night shift while having staff available to cover emergency calls for service Monday through Friday, with routine calls pending to the night shift.

Since November, the sheriff’s office has hired one deputy sheriff, one correctional deputy, and a communications dispatcher. They have one lateral deputy sheriff pending approval for replacement. The department has three applicants for deputy sheriff, three applicants for correctional deputy, two applicants for a dietary cook, six for facilities maintenance, one for sheriff service officer and none for sheriff service officer three.

A pair of deputy sheriffs graduated from the academy and started a field training program, which is part of an internal promotion initiative used by the sheriff’s office.

“Our current recruitment is continuing statewide for all positions that we have,” Kain said. “We are working with the California State Sheriffs Association currently to create a recruitment video for all of our vacant positions, and then working with the media and our surrounding area to post those videos about an effort to try to get local residents to come over to the sheriff’s office.”

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