PORT TOWNSEND — After two years of studies, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department has hired a consultant to begin working on the department’s strategic plan.
The contract was approved unanimously by Jefferson County commissioners as a part of the agenda during their meeting Monday. It will cost the county no more than $23,500.
The contract is with Roger Baker of Roger Baker Consulting in Des Moines.
According to Sheriff Dave Stanko, the department is due for a new strategic plan because the current one has stayed the same through five different sheriffs.
Stanko said the strategic plan would serve as a living document for the department, laying out department standards for the next five years.
“It’s not very exciting, but it’s important to us,” Stanko said.
According to Stanko, Baker has worked on plans before with the Puyallup Police Department and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.
“He can guide us through the do’s and don’ts of a strategic plan,” said Stanko.
According to Stanko, the goal is to update the old plan with newly implemented standards from the Washington State Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), which adheres to the six pillars of 21st century policing implemented in 2015 by a presidential task force.
Those six pillars are building trust and legitimacy; policy and oversight; technology and social media; community policing and crime reduction; officer training and education; and officer safety and wellness.
Stanko said a strategic plan allows the department to be more open with the community and is important when protecting the department from lawsuits.
“It’s good to have a protocol,” Stanko said.
Part of the plan is to implement findings from the studies done over the past two years through WASPC. According to Stanko, they studied both corrections and patrol divisions in order to earn the department accreditation from the association.
“It’s an honor,” Stanko said. “To be accredited by WASPC means we uphold the highest of standards.”
The department also did a staffing study, which shows the need for expanding the department as the county’s population continues to grow.
There is no set date for the completed plan, however in the plan presented to the county commissioners Monday, the first phase of the plan is to establish a strategic plan steering committee that will represent all work areas and work levels within the Sheriff’s Department.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].