Staff Report July 27, 2018NewsComments Off on Teen Donates Over 200 Stuffed Animals to El Paso County Sheriff’s Office
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office received a special delivery of new fluffy equipment on Friday, thanks to a local teen and her friends.
Amanda Hernandez, a Girl Scout and Senior at Valle Verde Early College, stopped by the Sheriff’s Office with donation of over 200 stuffed animals for deployment in special situations.
According to EPCSO officials, Amanda recalls being assisted by a Sheriff’s Office deputy during a call for service and how she felt safe with the help of the deputy, all the while she couldn’t help but feel like having her favorite stuffed animal could have helped her be more at ease.
Through Facebook and the help of her friends and family, she collected over 200 stuffed animals that will be distributed among all of the Sheriff’s Office patrol units.
Her hope is that the stuffed animals she donated will provide comfort to a child involved in a tough situation that may require the Sheriff’s Office response or assistance.
EPCSO Officials added, “On behalf of Sheriff Wiles and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, we thank Amanda for thinking outside the box and putting together this amazing donation to benefit children in our community.”
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO) Explorer Post 2005 held a training session on Saturday, January 27, 2018 in preparation for the 2018 National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference.
The Explorer Post and Community Service Section reviewed Pistol Shooting, Shoot Don’t Shoot, and Emergency First Aid procedures, live practice scenarios were also conducted during the training session.
EPCSO officials said “We will provide the explorers with sound information on which to base their decision on pursuing a career in law enforcement…(basically) the goal of the Explorer Post is to afford an opportunity to adolescents and young adults of the community to observe, participate and learn about law enforcement.”
The 2018 National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference will be held at Purdue University, from July 16 through 20.
It’s time for an action-packed weekend of “Clash of the Titans IX” boxing. Once again, the men and women of local area law enforcement agencies will come together and battle it out in the ring.
This sweet science showdown will feature twenty bouts between Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Police Officers, Firefighters, EMTs, Correctional Officers and members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The event will also feature exhibition fights from local area youth boxing leagues. While the fighters may not be household names in the boxing world, they really give it all they have.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 2005 and El Paso County Sheriff’s Foundation.
Join us in cheering on your favorite fighter representing: El Paso County Sheriff’s Office , El Paso Police Department, El Paso Fire Department, Las Cruces Fire Department, Deming New Mexico Police, Border Patrol – El Paso, San Antonio, Otero Federal Prison, West Texas Corrections, White Sands Missile Range Fire Dept., Federal Parole Division, La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution, FBI, ICE Camp & Homeland Security, Albuquerque Police Department and U.S. Armed Forces.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 | Buchanan’s Event Center – 11540 Pellicano Dr.
Staff Report August 4, 2017Local NewsComments Off on Registration Open for El Paso County Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy
Sheriff Richard Wiles and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a Citizens’ Academy starting Wednesday, August 16th.
The twelve-week Academy will run from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will be held at various Sheriff’s Office locations.
The Academy will offer participants a broad overview and unique insight into the various functions of the Sheriff’s Office. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a ride- along with deputies to observe first hand the variety of calls handled by the Sheriff’s Office.
A tour of the Detention Facilities will be conducted to demonstrate the daily duties of our detention staff. Other topics of discussion will include criminal investigation, the investigative process, and other Sheriff’s Office specialized units such as S.W.A.T and Crisis Negotiation.
There is no charge to attend the Citizens’ Academy; however, seating is limited. Applications must be submitted by August 7, 2017.
Residents interested in attending the Citizens’ Academy can obtain an application by contacting Public Affairs Director, Chris Acosta, at 915-538-2223.
Staff Report July 31, 2017NewsComments Off on El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to Host ‘National Night Out’ Tuesday
Sheriff Richard D. Wiles and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting the 7th Annual National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017.
EPCSO Officials say, “National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”
Sheriff’s Office officials add, “Together, we are making that happen.”
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods a safer, better place to live.
National Night Out will run from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Sheriff’s Office headquarters building located at 3850 Justice Drive.
JOIN US FOR:
Kids Activity Zone
Health and Safety Awareness Booths
Vehicle Displays & more.
Food and Drink will be on sale during the event.
In partnership with the community to keep our neighborhoods safe:
Department of Public Safety; Texas State Troopers
Horizon City Fire Department
Socorro ISD Police Department
Fabens Fire Department
Montana Vista Fire Department
West Valley Fire Department
EPCC Police Department
Anthony Police Department
It was a very different call and capture for El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO) Deputies Monday, as a mountain lion was spotted in the backyard of a far-East El Paso County home.
According to EPCSO Officials, Sheriff’s Office deputies and Animal Control Officers responded to an animal call in reference to a possible mountain lion in the Mountain View area, east of El Paso city limits.
Deputies arrived at a residence located along the 14100 block of Seattle Slew Avenue and spotted a mountain lion in the backyard of the home.
The deputies then called for back up from Texas Parks and Wildlife, the El Paso Zoo and the State Veterinarian for the El Paso area.
The veterinarian tranquilized the mountain lion without any injury to the animal or the first responders; the mountain lion was then transported to the El Paso Zoo where it will be quarantined and released in the days to come.
Sheriff Richard Wiles and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office invite local teens ages 13-18 with an interest in law enforcement to participate in the upcoming 2017 Youth Academy.
The purpose of the Sheriff’s Office Youth Academy is to introduce young men and women in our community to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in a positive and informative manner.
The academy consists of presentations, demonstrations, videos, and tours from the various Sheriff’s Office departments.
The academy is open to anyone between the ages of 13-18 who have not completed high school. EPCSO officials add, “Space is limited so please submit your application early.”
Registration packets can be picked up at the following locations:
Sheriff’s headquarters – 3850 Justice Dr. / 538-2119
Montana station – 12501 Montana Ave. / 856-4875
Clint station – 190 N. San Elizario / 851-3287
Vinton station – 436 E. Vinton / 886-2724
All applications must be returned to the Sheriff’s headquarters by June 26th, 2017. For more information please contact Public Information Officer Leslie Antunez at 915-538-2119 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff Report May 23, 2017Local NewsComments Off on Gallery+Story: EPCSO Detention Officers help Train Counterparts in Brazil
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office had three detention officers who specialize in special response tactics traveled to Curitiba, Brazil to host a Special Response Team school.
The week-long training, held from May 15 through 18, focused on Cell Extractions, Mobile Field Force, Jail Room Clearing, Handcuffing and Hostage Rescue. A total of 50 students from all over South America attended the week long course.
This Special Response School is a continuing relationship between the Sheriff’s Office, and the correctional staff in Brazil as well as other law enforcement agencies who take part in these instruction courses.
Sheriff’s Office detention officers and officers from the Emergency Service Unit out of Arizona, trained with South America’s elite Prison and Patrol Tactical forces,- BOPE elite Unit Brazilian Military Police, ROTAM & Local and State units inside the state and federal prisons in Curitiba, Brazil. The school will also provide Sheriff’s Office officers with additional training and techniques for implementation in future courses.
In previous years, the Sheriff’s Office has hosted two yearly Special Response Schools in El Paso, Texas, with attendance from law enforcement staff from Arizona, Florida, and Brazil. In the past, the Brazilian correctional staff has used the Special Response training in Riot/Civil Disturbance in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
This Saturday, April 29th, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
The drug take back program runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the EPCSO’s Patrol Stations (see below)
Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Beating its previous high of 390 tons in the spring of 2014 by 57 tons, or more than 114,000 pounds. The top five states with the largest collections, in order, were Texas (almost 40 tons); California (32 tons); Wisconsin (31 tons); Illinois (24 tons); and Massachusetts (24 tons)
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
“These results show that more Americans than ever are taking the important step of cleaning out their medicine cabinets and making homes safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “Unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications are often an unintended catalyst for addiction. Take-Back events like these raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and offer the public a safe and anonymous way to help prevent substance abuse.”
Bring your pills for disposal to one of the following Patrol Stations:
Montana Patrol Station – 12501 Montana
Clint Patrol Station – 190 San Elizario
Vinton Station – 435 E. Vinton, Suite D
(The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Staff Report March 29, 2017Local NewsComments Off on El Paso County Sheriff’s Office sending Three Officers to Brazil to host ‘Special Response Team’ School
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will have three detention officers who specialize in special response tactics travel to Curitiba, Brazil to host a Special Response Team school.
Sheriff’s Office detention officers and officers from the Pima, Maricopa Arizona Department of Corrections will provide instruction to correctional staff from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile inside the state and federal prisons in Curitiba, Brazil. The school will also provide Sheriff’s Office officers with additional training and techniques for implementation in future courses.
The training will consist of One Man Cell Extractions, Two-Man Tactics extractions, Riot/Civil Disturbance, and Hostage and Rescue in a Correctional Setting.
This Special Response School is a continuing relationship between the Sheriff’s Office, and the correctional staff in Brazil as well as other law enforcement agencies who take part in these instruction courses.
In previous years, the Sheriff’s Office has hosted two yearly Special Response Schools in El Paso, with attendance from law enforcement staff from Arizona, Florida, and Brazil. In the past, the Brazilian correctional staff has used the Special Response training in Riot/Civil Disturbance in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Sheriff Richard D. Wiles, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, and lead instructor Officer Luis Trevino continue to develop the program for special response tactics in a correctional setting. The Sheriff’s Office is quickly becoming a household name for special response tactic training, so much so that the law enforcement agencies who part-take in the training require their staff to successfully complete the course to further their job performance.
Sheriff’s Office Detention Officers Trevino, Leos, and Corporal Moreno will be traveling to Curitiba, Brazil, for the training.
It has been said, by many an activist and politician, that our jails and prisons are a revolving door. To an extent, it’s a true statement.
I have known people who have been released from jail, or La Tuna, only to find their way back into the system in short order. Boredom, and punishment do take their toll on an individual who finds themselves incarcerated.
Corrections.com explains, “Inactivity and boredom take a toll… Responsible conduct is not encouraged; we do not trust our prisoners to act responsibly. Their conduct in prison is judged by whether they have obeyed prison rules, not whether they are capable of navigating in the outside world.”
However there is a program in El Paso County that is working to give structure, training, rehabilitation, and a sense of accomplishment to local inmates. I became aware of the Pets Advancing Wellness and Success (PAWS) program being run by the El Paso County Detention Facility – Annex a few years ago, as I found myself detained there.
Unlike other jails, the deputies in El Paso, wear many hats. The PAWS program is just another aspect of their desire to help inmates grow; it’s also the only program like this to be found in any jail in the country.
In early 2014, Sheriff Richard Wiles, in collaboration with Animal Rescue, started a vocational program which helps dogs find their forever homes. However, the program, does more than help the dogs. It also helps the inmates involved in the program. PAWS, is one of those programs with lofty aims.
I met with Lt. Hebeker, of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, and Loretta Hyde, of the Animal Rescue League of El Paso, and they took me through the aims, and goals of the program. Each of them seemed like proud parents, wanting to help the dogs and the inmates as well.
Each morning, Officers Ortega and Ogaz pick-up the inmates from the trusty POD – a specific area of the jail – and head off to the kennels. The dogs wait, tails wagging, yapping and barking.
Just like the trustees who work with them, the dogs are read to start their day.
Lt. Hebeker, and Loretta Hyde have both said that the dogs they train are throwaways. They are dogs that no one wants any longer.
People see these little puppies, and want to take them home. Then, they grow up.
“Lack of manners,” is one of the reasons they are abandoned. They dig, jump, chew. They act like playful dogs. Animals that received no structure when they were puppies.
Many of the inmates at the Annex have had similar lives. They grew up, without structure, or parental involvement in their lives. Almost regardless of their ages, they seem just like children in the bodies of grown men. The time I spent as an inmate in the Annex, that was all I could see.
Overgrown children searching for love, and acceptance. They begin to find that – and more – in the PAWS program.
Lt. Hebeker said there is one group of inmates that can benefit the most from working with the dogs in the PAWS program, that can reconnect with what it is like to have to care for another living being: men who do not pay their child support.
“Everybody changes, from the four-legged, to the two-legged,” says Loretta. “Everybody has a different perspective one what it is to be a dog owner, (the) responsibility, and the unconditional love the dogs give them.”
I asked both Lt. Hebeker, and Officer Oraz what they hoped to give to the inmates, what they hope they will learn.
“Having been in the Marine Corp,” said Officer Oraz. “I try to give them structure, responsibility, and a sense of purpose.” Those three principals are lacking in the lives of most inmates. For someone to want to help another embrace these principles, especially within a correctional setting, is almost unheard of.
These officers genuinely care about the inmates in their custody, and it shows.
Lt. Hebeker said they work to demonstrate how commitment and motivation can bring positive results such as graduating from their program, as well as the other unexpected rewards such as gaining the affection and love from the canine cadets, and a sense of accomplishment when the dogs they trained graduate from the program.
So what exactly are the dogs, and the trustees in this program learning? It is, from the inmate point of view, simply a way to get out of the pod? Or is there more. After talking with one of individuals who went through the program, I can tell you, there is a lot more to it than just a way for the inmates to pass the time.
The individuals – called trustees – who are in the program learn a variety of skills that they can take with them when they are released. They are learning how to train the dogs who come into the PAWS program, clean and sanitize they kennels, care for the sick, treat minor injuries, and bring dogs back to full health.
The program’s duration is 250 hours. There are also a battery of tests, five written and one visual, the inmates must take and pass before they can graduate.
Beyond the PAWS program, the same inmates must also attend other programs as well. If they are without a high school diploma, they will be required to attend GED classes twice a week. If they are not proficient in English, then it is ESL. There are also job readiness classes they must attend to remain part of the program.
The dogs themselves gain much from the PAWS training program. They learn basic commands, become leash trained, and bad habits are removed. They become the perfect dog for anyone looking for a companion. So much so that the group, American Service Dogs, evaluates them after the program. Many of them have, in fact, become service dogs.
In talking with David Chura about the PAWS program he says programs like PAWS are invaluable.
“Although there are some programs that teach inmates work skills and how to be responsible – such as building maintenance or food service training – the value of such programs as PAWS is that they reconnect individuals with their basic sense of being human, of being a caring person. These programs help unearth and develop feelings and skills that in many cases are almost atrophied in individuals who have been involved in crime and who are used to life on the streets.”
I met with Raul (name has been changed). He went through the program back in 2015. His story, like many of those I heard in the jail, are similar. He grew-up in a single parent home. Didn’t have any real role models other than those he found in music, and gangster movies.
“Never had that real love,” he said. “How could anything love me.” Then, he signed-up for the PAWS program.
At first, he was looking for a way to receive a reduced sentence, thinking that participating in the PAWS program would look good for the Judge. Yet, there were changes to his way of thinking. Changes he readily admits.
“These dogs is like children. They need us for all of it. The just gave us love.”
That was the first time, Raul says, that he ever knew unconditional love. “I liked going to the dogs. They were happy to see us. I liked it.”
Like others who have participated in the program, Raul adopted the one of the dogs.
“They do care, not just only the dogs, the police as well.” Raul is right. The officers of the El Paso County Detention Facility do care. I had asked Lt. Hebeker if there was anything she wanted to say, to share with me. What she shared was not so much about the program, as it was about the dog and inmates in the PAWS program.
“I would like to see people hire our graduates. They could work for a vet’s office. They know what to do, and how to do it. They are qualified, trained, and motivated.”
She’s right. These men are motivated to better their lives, and the lives of their families. Just like the dogs are ready to become part of your family.
So, if you are looking for a dog to adopt, contact Loretta at the Animal Rescue League of El Paso. If you are looking for a motivated employee for your office- be it to work with four legged friends, or the two legged kind- maybe you can give Lt. Hebeker a call, and she may be able to point you in the right direction.
Author: Steven E. Cottingham – Special to the Herald-Post | Photos Courtesy PAWS ‘n Detention Facebook Page & Author