I was honored to participate in a long-standing Scotts Valley tradition recently, the Annual Scotts Valley Police Formal Inspection. This tradition that began in 1978 and I’m thankful it has continued all these years later.
The Annual Inspection is more than the fanfare of all Police Personnel standing at attention in formal uniform. It’s also more than a time to recognize the hard work that our Scotts Valley Police Staff perform all year long. Inspections ensure the Department is prepared to serve the community, that officers are professional in appearance and knowledge. It is also to show that staff takes pride in not only their presence in the community but their service to the community. Officers’ appearance is inspected and they are questioned on policy and law.
After inspecting each officer, dispatcher and explorer, the Chief and Command staff inspect each vehicle (Cars, Motorcycles, Bicycles and ATV) for cleanliness, required supplies and to ensure all equipment is in good working order. It’s not a matter of just running a car through the car wash, although Scotts Valley Car Wash has assisted with the exterior wash. It also includes cleaning engines, door frames and even the ridges of the trunk.
Each and every office and file is inspected to ensure consistency and accuracy. There are many State mandates that cover reporting of various crimes and accidents to the State. Not only are these records audited, but Training files and Evidence records are all audited. Doing this on an annual basis is important as like any profession, things can get busy. The annual inspection and audit provide the checks and balances to ensure all records are accurate and current.
Having served a total of 40 years with Scotts Valley Police Department, I have to admit we dreaded the work it took to prepare for the annual inspection, but we also recognized the importance. Each member of the Scotts Valley PD worked for several weeks cleaning their assigned area, paint is touched up as needed, equipment repaired if necessary and various records reviewed to be sure all were up to date. It is common for family members to come to assist with the preparation which includes removing HVAC covers, ceiling light fixtures, windows and more; dusting and cleaning to be sure they could pass the white glove examination.
The Scotts Valley City Hall including the Police Department is the oldest in the County, having moved to this location in 1986. It’s the dedication of staff and the support of the Public Works Department that has maintained the Department in a clean and professional condition.
The Annual Inspection is also an opportunity for Chief Walpole to share a State of the Department address and recognize employee accomplishments.
Chief Walpole gave his state of the department address which consisted of an update on staffing for the organization. For the first time in many years, both the dispatch center and patrol division are fully staffed. The department is still recruiting for one open police officer position and one sergeant position. Filling these vacancies will allow the department to fully staff an investigations detective and detective sergeant position. Currently, the agency relies on a retired annuitant detective, an officer who splits their responsibility two days a week in patrol, and two days a week in investigations, and tasking the school resource officer (SRO) with additional investigative assignments.
Chief Walpole gave accolades to staff members who revitalized the department’s Explorer program. Police Explorers assist with various tasks such as traffic control, parade coordination, crowd control, and many other tasks. It is a great opportunity for the department to develop local youth to be responsible, productive, and service oriented members of their community! Two current Scotts Valley police officers are former Explorers.
Chief Walpole was proud to highlight that for the first time in many years, we have a full-time police motorcycle officer. This position’s primary responsibility is to reduce collisions through education, enforcement, and high visibility. Additionally, for the first time in decades, a bicycle patrol team has been established. Officers will be utilizing bicycles to patrol parks, open spaces, shopping centers, and special events such as 4th of July activities, Cops-N-Rodders car show, and other community events.
Possibly the most profound announcement is that Captain Jayson Rutherford was accepted to the FBI National Academy. Only three previous members of the Scotts Valley Police Department have attended this prestigious training. The FBINAA (FBI National Academy Association) is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers nominated by Law Enforcement leaders because of demonstrated leadership qualities. Attendees study the fundamentals of law, behavioral sciences, report writing, forensic science, and basic and advanced investigative, interviewing, and intelligence techniques. The academy, representing all 50 states, 194 countries, and over 8,200 law enforcement agencies has over 53,000 graduates. Captain Rutherford went through an extensive application process and was recently accepted into this program. He will be attending the program in Quantico Virginia for approximately three months where he will undergo intense physical training and classroom learning. Congratulations Captain Rutherford.