They answer the calls, whatever they may be
It took some whittling to make room for the Sheriff’s Blotter in this week’s newspaper. It originally came in at a hefty 11 pages, which would have claimed the bulk of our Regional section, so we trimmed more than a third of the entries. And that’s after our reporter culled the information that she thought would most interest our readers, leaving the bulk unmentioned. Each week the reporter wades through printouts of the official criminal reports or OCRs as they are called to see what local law enforcement and first responders have encountered.
The Fourth of July holiday week was particularly busy in the Lake Almanor area on and off the water. But the calls came in from Eastern Plumas, Quincy and Indian Valley as well. The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office is often responding along with the California Highway Patrol, or as is often noted, if a deputy isn’t available, the CHP responds solo to more than traffic incidents.
It’s not just the sheer magnitude of the calls that the sheriff’s deputies and CHP officers respond to, but also the breadth of their scope. They could be responding to an assault one moment and counseling a juvenile at a parent’s request the next. No day, no shift is the same. When the weather is bad, or the crowds get too large, or there is danger afoot, we all have the ability to retreat to the safety of our homes. They don’t have that option, because it’s at those times that they are needed the most.
I think we as a county do a good job of expressing our appreciation for local law enforcement, but after a week like they just had, it bears repeating.
That goes ditto for our medical first responders. The past couple of weeks brought a number of traffic accidents and medical emergencies. In one such incident, the workers spent 90 minutes to bring an injured woman up the canyon wall after her vehicle rolled down its side. And it wasn’t without risk to themselves. As we noted before, our first responders head into dangerous situations rather than away from them.
This week also saw numerous small vegetation fires break out across the county. Some of those were mentioned in the blotter, but all were quickly dealt with thanks to our local volunteers and the Forest Service.
The other observation that strikes us as we read the crime reports is the number of individuals who are aware of their surroundings and their circumstances and are quick to report anything suspicious. Sometimes they turn out to be a little bit of ado about nothing and make for humorous reading, but a lot of the time those reports protect themselves and their neighbors.
Reader feedback tells us that the Sheriff’s Blotter is a well read section of the newspaper and is one of the reasons that we devote a good deal of space to it. They share that they also appreciate some of the irreverent headings that label the entries. So while it sometimes provides a little light reading, it’s also an important snapshot into what is happening on the streets of our communities.