Jefferson County sheriff’s citizens’ advisory group is now official

The group of community members works to strengthen the link between the department and the community and to identify problems and solutions.

PORT TOWNSEND — A Jefferson County sheriff’s citizens’ advisory group that has been meeting for a year has been officially recognized by the county commissioners.

The three Jefferson County commissioners unanimously approved the board Monday. The move will allow members of the board to talk in their official capacity at commission meetings.

The group, made up of community members from Jefferson County, works to strengthen the link between the department and the community and to identify problems and solutions for the sheriff’s office, said Sheriff Dave Stanko.

“Community engagement is vital to our success here, especially with today’s climate and issues with law enforcement,” Stanko told commissioners on Monday.

A citizens advisory board was one of Stanko’s campaign promises when he ran for office in 2014.

“We have a very spread-out county, so it was important for me to get input,” Stanko said.

Fifteen members

The board is envisioned as being made up of 15 people, each one representing an area of Jefferson County.

Currently, members represent Brinnon, Marrowstone/Indian Island, Port Hadlock/Irondale, Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, Quilcene, Chimacum, Hoh Tribe, Dabob/Coyle/Toandos, Kala Point, Discovery Bay/Gardiner and Cape George.

There are three open positions, one of which is for a student.

“We wanted to represent different areas and socio-economic strata,” said John Ammeter, a board representative from Port Ludlow.

“The whole idea was representation from different walks of life.”

Already the unofficial board has worked with Washington State University on a staffing study.

The study found that Jefferson County will need seven more deputies by 2020 to keep up with estimated population growth.

“Citizen advisory board members will go to their districts to see how the citizens would like to fund that,” Stanko said.

The focus of the board is to make sure citizens are engaged with local law enforcement so they feel their complaints are being heard and to ensure needs are being met.

“We really are trying to reach out to all areas of the community and find out what’s needed,” said Raul Huerta, a board representative from Port Townsend.

“We want to provide guardianship and service to the citizens of our county.”

The sheriff is able to appoint members to the board but the board will vote for its own chair and vice chair. Anyone is welcome to serve as long as they don’t have criminal backgrounds, since that was deemed a conflict of interest.

To make staggered terms, the board members will be broken up into three groups of five members who will serve for one-, two- or three-year terms.


Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at

More in News

A 75-year-old man was airlifted with non-life-threatening injuries to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle following a collision on Monday. State Highway 104 and U.S. Highway 101 were closed for the airlift. (Washington State Patrol)
Man airlifted following one-car rollover collision

A 75-year-old man was airlifted with non-life-threatening injuries to… Continue reading

Daytime delays expected Tuesday on Hood Canal Bridge

State Department of Transportation crews will reduce the span to… Continue reading

Two Peninsula College courses get spring resets

CDL class expands; student paper returns

Comment sought on plan update for marine sanctuary

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials are seeking public… Continue reading

Port Angeles City Pier replacement project begins today

Some portions of facility to be closed in sections through May

Bodies found in Sequim apartment complex

Autopsies of a couple found dead in their home in… Continue reading

Clallam case basis of bill for Kimberly Bender’s law

Custodial sexual assaults would get stiffer sentences

DOT projects listed

Here is a list of fish barrier projects and more detail on… Continue reading

Most Read