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SLCO Sheriff's Office Combined Leadership Employees of the Month - September 2017

20-Oct-2017, Written by SO Media Unit

September 2017 Employees of the Month

Processing Division

  • On 09/20/2017, a prisoner was able to run out of the pre-book pit and into the intake sally port in an attempt to escape the facility. Deputies Blake Mills OR3 and Wade Sipple OA4, who were in the Intake area, acted without hesitation and were able to direct the prisoner to the ground, preventing his escape. Deputy Mills is new to the area, but he has already proven to be a valuable asset. Deputy Sipple is a veteran in the area and is always aware of his surroundings. Due to their diligence, they were able to prevent a significant security threat.

Judicial Protection Division 

  • On September 29th, Deputy Tyler Swackhammer 26E was driving to work and noticed an individual walking on the shoulder of US201 eastbound. Visibility for drivers heading eastbound that morning was difficult due to the rising sun, and traffic was also heavy because it was a weekday. Deputy Swackhammer immediately recognized the eminent danger the pedestrian had placed himself in, so Swackhammer stopped to assist the individual to safety.  Deputy Swackhammer advised dispatch of the situation and his location and then made contact with the pedestrian. The man stated he was walking on the freeway because somebody took his car. After some follow questions, the pedestrian stated it was his boyfriend who had taken his car and that they had been in a fight. During their discussion, the man began making reference to the voices in his head and he eventually became non-compliant, causing Swackhammer to fear that he might attempt to flee into oncoming traffic. Rather than attempt to go hands on and risk an auto-pedestrian accident, Deputy Swackhammer immediately gained distance placing himself between the man and oncoming traffic. Swackhammer then pulled his taser and pointed it at the pedestrian, who immediately became compliant. Swackhammer was then able to safely place him into handcuffs. UHP arrived shortly thereafter and took over the incident (S017-8831).  Deputy Swackhammer's recognition of the danger the citizen had place himself in and his immediate response to the situation are to be commended. It is very likely that Swackhammer's response saved the man from injury or death due to the volume of traffic on the highway that day and the position of the sun causing it to be nearly impossible to see clearly the roadway ahead. Swackhammer's actions that day are worthy of recognition and deserving of the Judicial Protection Division Employee of the Month for September.

Health Services Division 

  • On behalf of The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office Health Services Division, Director of Nursing Robert Ballard QTZ has been selected as September 2017 Employee of the Month. Over the past several months, Rob has worked tirelessly on critical jail and Health Services projects.  Our recent transferring of 300 prisoners to outside jails required tremendous time and focus to make sure all prisoners being transferred were properly medically screened, in advance, by Health Services. Rob took on this challenge and completed it in a smooth and relatively short period. This was in addition to all the job requirements he is currently doing. Rob also made sure we communicated with both our jail staff and outside jails, supplying medical records information, coordinating ongoing prisoner medical needs and supplying these prisoners their prescription medications. These are now ongoing efforts, and Rob has been very diligent in making this project as successful as possible.  Directly related to the outside jail transfer project was the recent Phase One of the Rio Grande Operation. Rob was instrumental in assuring we had adequate nurse staffing to handle the influx of prisoners being booked into the jail.  The majority of these prisoners had a much higher medical acuity level, including untreated illnesses, wounds and serious drug withdrawals. Subsequently, our Health Services staff were kept extremely busy addressing the urgent medical needs of these patients. Rob worked closely with his team to assure these prisoners’ needs were adequately addressed.  Rob has been a tremendous asset to the jail and the Health Services Division over the past 17 years. His work ethic is second to none and the leadership he provides to his nursing team is greatly valued. We are most fortunate to have Rob a part of our team.

Security Division 

  • This incident occurred in the month of June, however these deputies need to be recognized for the valiant efforts to assist when needed outside their normal scope of duty in times of emergency. On June 8th, 2017, Deputies Zach Miner K79 and Brandon Brockbank NN1 were returning to the office after conducting their normal duties when they noticed smoke barreling near several neighboring housing structures. The deputies reacted quickly knowing there were citizens near the fire and several structures at risk. Miner and Brockbank retrieved their fire extinguishers from their cars and ran down the alley where they were confronted by a blazing dumpster fire that was threatening a garage and an apartment complex. They called dispatch to request SLC Fire Dept, and went to work.  The fire became increasingly dangerous, but by the acts of both deputies the fire was controlled enough to keep flames away from the structures until firefighters arrived. Without the response of Deputy Miner and Deputy Brockbank several thousands of dollars of property were in jeopardy and likely mitigated risk to citizens and those living nearby. Additionally their professional interaction with the citizens and tenants of the apartment complex bring great credit the Security Division and the Sheriff’s Office and earns them the Deputy of the Month award.
  • This incident occurred on June 30th and merits recognition for his selfless service, heroism, and professionalism both on and off duty. On June 30th Deputy Jason Berg MJ4 was traveling on 1-15 when he came upon a traffic accident involving two cars. He was the first to respond and demonstrated incredible decisiveness as time was against the parties involved. As Deputy Berg approached the accident he learned there was an infant trapped in the backseat of one of the cars. Knowing the excruciating summer heat threatened the infant, Deputy Berg quickly reacted.  Deputy Berg received permission from the owner to break the window to get the infant out of the car. After several attempts failed to break the window with the tools he had, Deputy Berg consulted with another bystander and together they made the decision to use a trailer hitch to break out the window. Entry was made and the car was unlocked. Ultimately, the child was rescued and back in the arms of the mother before the heat emerged to dangerous temperatures.  Deputy Berg’s meritorious action on this day is another example of his commitment to serve in a capacity that put other’s needs before his own. He is a great asset to the Security Division and the Sheriff’s Office as a whole.  Jason deserves to be recognized as Deputy of the Month.

Housing Division 

  • Deputy Cendagorta was working in 8B a medium female unit. He was notified that a prisoner sitting at one of the day room tables was choking on a piece of food. Another prisoner was trying to use the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food. She was not strong enough to force the piece of food loose.  Deputy Cendagorta relieved the prisoner and began using the Heimlich maneuver. He had to try several times to dislodge the piece of food. Several attempts later, the food dislodged and the prisoner was able to breathe normally.  Because Deputy Cendagorta was quick to respond and remembered his training the prisoner's breathing was restored. She was quickly cleared by medical staff to remain in the unit.

Support Division 

  • During the month of August we began the Operation Rio Grande. Sarah, Amanda, and Jodi were all an integral part of the overall success of the operation. They altered their work schedule to assist the Incident Commander for the entire three weeks of the operation. During this time, they gathered data, ensured equipment was functioning, and ran reports as necessary. All three were responsible for relaying information as there was regular changes to the Incident Command and the information was used to ensure consistency. Their presence in the Command Post was essential in the initial organization of the post. Once the operation started all three regularly worked twelve hour shifts and even worked on weekends to see that the operation was a success. Their dedication to the Office of the Sheriff is a demonstration of leadership, and commitment that should be recognized. I am nominating Sarah Humphries, Amanda Anderson, and Jodi Lee as the August Employee of the Month. I appreciate all of you.
  • During the month of August, the Jail Support Division had a variety of projects kick off that Lt. Gary Beers B03 was personally responsible for overseeing. His handling of these projects was conducted in a professional and efficient manner. His dedication is not limited to the Sheriff’s Office. He is committed to supporting the entire Office of the Sheriff. In addition to the several projects he was managing, we began the Operation Rio Grande. Lt. Beers was the first to volunteer to assist where he was needed. He helped coordinate getting equipment needed for the Command Post, and was essential in the initial organization of the post. Once the operation started, Lt. Beers regularly worked twelve hour shifts and even worked on weekends to see that the operation was a success. Gary is a vital member of this organization and the Support Division would not be as efficient without him. Because of his dedication and professionalism, I am nominating Lt. Gary Beers as the August Employee of the Month.

Programs Division 

  • Sergeant Mark Martin B65 and his team were tasked to research the possibility of utilizing livestock as a means of reducing the amount of weeds at the gardens surrounding the pond. These staff members researched options and reached out to staff at Historic Wheeler Farm for advice. They coordinated site visits to fully explain the needs of our organization that resulted in the decision to use a small herd of hair sheep. These members supervised prisoner workers in the construction of enclosures and a shelter for the sheep. They were actively involved in the written agreement process with Wheeler Farm and also managed the delivery of the livestock.  The sheep have been delivered for a trial period and are proving to be an effective weed abatement option.  I appreciate the hard work, care, and attention to detail Sergeant Martin and Horticulturists Mars and Murphy have invested in this project.

Facilities Protection Division 

  • While on duty at Youth Services on August 18, Deputy Charles Anderson 58E received a call from Crisis Residential requesting help with a youth who had barricaded herself into their bedroom.  After responding, Anderson found that the youth had block the door so well using multiple beds which spanned the width of the room that he could only open the door three inches.  The youth was unresponsive and Anderson tried to kick the door open with no success.  After looking in again he could see that the youth had put something around her neck and was attempting to strangle herself.  Backup and fire were summoned to help gain entry.  Both Deputy Anderson and Youth Services staff were attempting to get the youth to open the door but were not having any success.  Deputy Anderson could see that the youth was still threatening to strangle herself and was not going to open the door further.  He was able to reach into the room enough to deploy OC.  The OC had the desired effect and the youth stopped and became distracted.  This gave Deputy Anderson the ability to find a mop handle and insert it through the door opening enough to move one of the beds and gain access to the room.  The youth was then safely taken into custody, decontaminated from the OC spray and sent to the hospital for treatment.  The decisive actions that Deputy Anderson took were effective and helped resolve what was a dynamic and stressful incident with the potential for serious injury to the youth.  
  • As a Facilities Division supervisor Sgt. Ryan Scothern HK1 has taken the initiative on several fronts to improve operations and the readiness of those he works with.  One example of that occurred when without any prompting he formed a committee to work on some schedule issues and problems that were specifically plaguing the fine arts sites.   He used excellent leadership skills to both involve those who would benefit from committee membership as well as to come up with solutions to a complicated problem.  Ryan was also given a new secondary assignment to act as the bureau fleet liaison to which he has brought new ideas and excellent coordination with UPD fleet.   He also has recently begun acting in a lead role over a newly formed Protective Service Sergeants Association.   It is no easy task to coordinate an association of your peers and Ryan has jumped head on into that effort, solving problems and helping facilitate better communication among everyone.  Ryan’s efforts are appreciated in every respect and his leadership is to be commended.