Monday, June 19, 2017

Sheriff Speaks to SGR

Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher clarified the word “sheriff” is a derivative of “shires” who were the law enforcement officers of the 1200’s. The sheriff in any jurisdiction is “always elected with authority granted by the people.”  The sheriff indicated his job would be so much easier if he didn’t have to oversee the jail.

Purgatory Correctional Facility is a 500-bed facility with inmates classified as Level 3-5 (5 being the ones whose crimes are more “dumb” than seriously criminal). Currently PCF has 165 employees (for which he had a full comtingency for FTE’s for “about two weeks” in his entire 6 ½ years in office).

The sheriff noted he has an “excellent working relationship with other agencies in Washington County – a favorable circumtance which does not exist anywhere else.”

The WCSO is organized into the following divisions:

The Corrections Division is responsible for functions related to the operation of Purgatory Correctional Facility. The Corrections Division includes the Corrections Chief Deputy (a.k.a., Jail Commander), corrections lieutenants, corrections sergeants, corrections deputies, and other correctional staff as determined by the Sheriff.

The Emergency Services Division is responsible for preparing for, monitoring, and responding to natural and man-made disasters and events. The Emergency Services Division includes the Emergency Services Director, Search and Rescue staff, and other staff as determined by the Sheriff. 

The Patrol Division is responsible for responding to citizen calls for assistance, patrolling Washington County, investigating traffic accidents, taking initial reports, criminal investigations, court security, and other law enforcement functions. The Patrol Division includes the Patrol Chief Deputy, patrol lieutenants, patrol sergeants, patrol deputies, and other patrol staff as determined by the Sheriff.

Sheriff Pulsipher reported:
*   the formation of a Metro-SWAT team working alongside the St. George SWAT team.
*   Heroine is a huge problem in Washington County.
*   The sheriff’s office has access to a data base which enables them to check the legal status of those they arrest.
*  There are approximately 400 gang members identified in Washington County but no areas as yet designated as “gang turf.”
*  Housing costs at PCF are $71 per day/per inmate or about $17.6 million annually.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

SGR Hears of Tortoise Times

Today in Rotary, our speaker was biologist and WashCo Habitat Conservation Plan Administrator Cameron Rognan who shared information regarding the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and its inhabitants, including the only healthy population of desert tortoises in the world.

Speaking of the plans creation in 1996 , he noted, “the plan requires us to remove tortoises before any development.  Our ‘take’ permit allows us to move 1169 tortoises … to date we have only to take about 500.  We don’t ever expect to take all of our permitted animals in our 62,000 reserve with tortoise habitat making up about half and with 130 miles of trails.”  In addition to protecting the area’s large assortment of critters, the Reserve is also popular for recreatoin, including hiking, biking and climbing.

According to the biologist, “the desert tortoise spends about 90% of its life underground, hybernating from mid-November to March and can live nearly a century.”

The reasons for the decline of the worldwide desert tortoise population are varied:

·               Upper-respiratory tract disease (URTD)
·               Loss of habitat
·               Illegal collecting
·               It takes a long time for the animals to reproduce (the babies are only approximately 2” in length, but to reach the age to reproduce [about the size of a dinner plate], it takes about 10 years)
·               Due to human population growth in the area, there has also been an increase in new predators, including ravens and raccoons.

For more information, contact the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve at 634-5759.