Sheriff’s office, police department issue statements on shelter incident

The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office reports it had nothing to do with Monday’s incident regarding Plumas County evacuees at the shelter at Lassen Community College, and the Susanville Police Department says it is reviewing the incident.


Plumas News

“Plumas News reported earlier this week on the chaotic scene that played out at Lassen Community College on Monday night, Aug. 16, when Plumas County evacuees were told to vacate the evacuation center or face the threat of arrest.

“Discussion about the incident ensured during the Plumas County Board of Supervisors meeting on Aug. 17, and Plumas County Sheriff Todd Johns shared some of the details that transpired that night.

“Johns mentioned Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon, only as it related to Growdon asking Johns for help in evacuating Janesville. Nothing was said that linked Growdon to the Monday night snafu.

“While the statement refers to some Lassen County officials being involved, it doesn’t specify any persons or departments that made the decisions and issued the threats. Since Growdon’s name has been associated with evacuation orders, some people placed the blame on him.”

The LCSO says such criticism is unwarranted.


LSCO response

According to a Thursday, Aug. 19 statement from the LCSO, “The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office has received many inquiries regarding events that occurred at the Emergency Shelter located at Lassen Community College in Susanville Aug. 16, 2021.

“The sheriff’s office did not have a representative present at that location the day of the event and had no knowledge of the events that occurred until after they occurred.

“Lassen Community College falls under the jurisdiction of the Susanville Police Department, and they were the responding agency when those events took place. All questions related to police response should be directed to the Susanville Police Department at 257-5603.”

“All questions related to shelter workers and management should be directed to Lassen County Health and Social Services who operate the Emergency Shelter. Their number is 251-8128.”


SPD response

Ryan Cochran, Susanville’s Chief of Police, also issued a statement regarding the incident.

According to that statement, “At approximately 6:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2021, officers from the Susanville Police Department, while conducting emergency evacuation advisories, were dispatched to Lassen Community College on a report of a disturbance involving an unknown number of people.

“The events that occurred subsequent to our arrival are currently under review. The police department and its members understand these are emotional and trying times for everyone in our community and surrounding areas. We continue to stay committed to keep our city, our community members, and welcomed visitors safe while working in a professional and courteous manner.

“No arrest(s), citations or use of force was used. Officers were able to clear from the shelter and continue with their evacuation notifications in the city after a representative from Plumas County arrived.

“All questions related to shelter workers and management should be directed to Lassen County Health and Social Services who operate the Emergency Shelter, their number is 250-9004.”