Sheriff shares project updates, future plans

Ranging from jail roof improvements to virtual reality training, Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon shared some project updates and future plans with county supervisors last week.

During the Jan. 12 Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting, Growdon shared various projects, including improvements made to the Lassen County Jail roof, crediting Lassen County Public Works Director Pete Heimbigner and Captain John McGarva for moving the project forward.

“We did have the recent storms and it’s the first time it hasn’t leaked in at least probably 20 years at the jail. It’s a huge improvement for us,” Growdon said.

The sheriff also mentioned the plans to upgrade the 911-center generator using Public Safety Power Shutoff funds. The larger generator would run on natural gas and would be more efficient than the current model.

For the Record Management System, which automates some of the dispatch center’s functions and provide more accurate data, Growdon said the process is moving forward with some options still be phased in.

“It’s really going to help us identify crime trends in the community,” Growdon said. “It’s a huge advancement for us. It’s taking a lot of work. We’re still phasing it in, we’re still not seeing the full potential of it.”

Moreover, Growdon noted the local department is set to receive a virtual reality simulator within the next two months focused on use of force.

In coordination with Peace Officer Standards and Training, the local department will receive the simulator. With the allocation, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office will send four people to instructor courses, and then will provided training to regional agencies, like the Susanville Police Department, and agencies from nearby counties.

“It’s a huge advancement for us … You’ll be able to work your way through all these scenarios. It’s a huge step up for us in use of force, preparation and training,” Growdon added, thanking Lieutenant David Woginrich for spearheading the project.

Related to COVID, Growdon said the local jail has only been able to delivered one person to state prison since March, with the remaining inmates still in the county jail.

However, now state prisons are taking a limited number of deliveries, and Growdon said the local jail will be start moving some of those incarcerated in the coming weeks.

The sheriff also recognized two recent promotions of Captain McGarva and Lieutenant Amy Foster.

“I’m really proud of them and looking forward to watch they can accomplish in those roles,” Growdon said.