Sheriff’s Department gets some updates

The Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department has gone through some improved changes in the past six months.

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By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

The Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department has gone through some improved changes in the past six months.

Six months ago the department had four deputies and Sheriff Sarah Warner on staff. Warner was playing three different roles at once that included time as secretary, investigator and her normal duties as Sheriff. The whole department was stretched thin and they have added a few employees that has helped with the work load.

In November Warner hired two people. She took on a part time administrative assistant and added another deputy to the force.

The new deputy, Rick Anderson, comes to Hettinger County after working in the Medora area. Overall he has five years working in law enforcement in North Dakota. Previously he was working in the state of Texas.

Anderson has worked in investigations prior to coming to Hettinger County and he’ll continue working on those types of cases with the sheriff’s office. Interestingly Anderson is also an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), which is beneficial in a few ways. First, Anderson can assess and tend to hurt victims if he is first to arrive at the scene of an accident or incident prior to an ambulance arriving. Second, he is able to teach Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) courses.

What most people may not be aware of is that all of the deputies with the Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department are certified EMR’s, something that Warner instituted in her department since she was elected Sheriff.

So what does that mean?

The deputies can asses the patient, administer oxygen, check vitals, and can properly place a c-collar onto a patient prior to emergency personnel arriving.

“I think it’s helping out our ambulances when we go,” Warner said.

Though they don’t always beat the emergency workers to an accident scene, when they do they can start helping out victims immediately.

The department has also added a new piece of equipment.

An electronic finger print machine.

With grant money the department was able to invest in the machine and can now take finger prints with updated technology. Finger print cards are $5 and anyone needing them for a job, a background check or a firearm purchase can contact the office for a set.

The department has also been able to keep a stronger presence in New England. After adding a part time administrative assistant, Sheriff Warner can now spend more time outside the office and that includes an office presence in New England. The city has allowed her to use the old city hall building in what is now the Auditor’s office. Though she can’t set a permanent regular schedule she tries to get there once a week.

Two of the department’s deputies are also residing in New England. This has allowed the department to keep an extra eye on the the town, though the deputies aren’t exclusively scheduled to stay in New England, they will often patrol the area before parking their cruiser for the evening after a shift. They have even seen situations that need attention during their off-duty hours, and will take care of it if it isn’t a timely matter.

With the new hires, everyone has been able to perform their jobs better by focusing on their position.

When asked why they didn’t have this amount on staff prior to November, Sheriff Warner said it is hard finding people.

She recently was browsing the web and saw that 23 departments throughout the state are looking for help, and some of them had multiple positions available.

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