Year one down for Jantz

Sheriff looks at first year, toward second

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— Sitting on Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz's desk is a blue Mead notebook.

Listed on its pages are hundreds of names and phone numbers. More importantly to the sheriff is a checkmark located next to each name.

After all, the names are of residents who called Jantz in his first year as sheriff, and the checkmarks signify he has called them back.

"That is a really big issue here," he said. "When (people) call, and they have a concern or question - and it really doesn't matter how large or how small the question - I will call back. Some of the phone calls, you know, they're uncomfortable. When you call people back, it's not always a pleasant situation, but I wanted to make sure that I least communicated with them.

"That was a big thing (in my first year as Sheriff), being approachable and available."

Wednesday marked one year since Jantz took the oath of office as the county's sheriff, and making a concerted effort to return all phone calls was just one way Jantz said he tried to be open to the public.

On the street or at the store, on-duty or not, people have stopped and talked to him "all of the time," he said.

"I love that part," he said. "We will talk about all kinds of things, not just law enforcement. : It's been great."

Other goals come from when he campaigned in November 2006 - fighting the scourge of methamphetamine.

Although he believes his agency is "on target" in tackling the meth problem, he admits that early on in his tenure, there were concerns after the Routt County Sheriff pulled funding from the Greater Routt and Moffat Narcotic Enforcement Team. The remaining agencies scrapped GRAMNET, and came up with the All-Crime Enforcement Team to take its place.

"The big thing was to make sure ACET was viable this year, and the (ACET) team is doing a wonderful job," he said. "They have been out there, just quietly making drug arrests."

Deputy retention was another goal Jantz said he had in year one - a goal he looks to continue. The Sheriff's Office currently has 11 patrol deputies and two investigators. In 2007, the law enforcement agency retained all but one patrol deputy, who was lost to disability.

Having such high retention is a feat Jantz called "uncommon" and one he said was a countywide effort. He credited the Moffat County Commission for equipment upgrades and helping the deputies with cost of living issues, such as pay and benefits.

"For officers, pay is important, but so is equipment," Jantz said.

Entering 2008, one of Jantz's goals is to evaluate the rising number of incidents the Sheriff's Office responds to. He noted there was 6.2 percent increase of call volume in 2005-06, and 12 percent increase in call volume in 2006-07.

He plans to look at the number of calls, major reports and resident population to see if another deputy position is needed.

But he is quick to add that adding more workforce is a balancing act of county financing and need, and he will only bring a request forward if all the numbers bear out.

"I'm going to work with (county commissioners) to ensure the overall countywide" the area is not harmed, he said. "Right now, it is not a definite 'yes' or a definite 'no'" that he will request additional personnel. "I don't want to put them in a bind."

He also has a goal of being out of the office more during his second year.

"I wanted to be out (on patrol) a little more" the first year, he said, "but the day-to-day activities come up that keep you locked in the building."

A goal he had in 2007, and one he says he will have throughout his four-year term, is the reason he cites for running for the position in the first place: serving the community and making sure to meet its needs.

"I think we are on target with that," he said. "Do you reach an ultimate goal? I think that is an ongoing process."

Comments

Benny 6 years, 11 months ago

Wow, a true "open door policy" in effect. Good Job to Sheriff Jantz! Moffat County's top law enforcement officer is a breath of fresh air!

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Gladys 6 years, 11 months ago

Moffat County, in general, is a breath of fresh air. They, for some reason, tend get a bad rap. I believe we have more (unprosecuted) crime, drugs and scandal in Routt County.

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justathought 6 years, 11 months ago

What a concept, a sheriff without a dui in a county vehicle, that doesn't tolerate drugs and works with the county commissioners. I'll bet he doesn't get his office furniture from Utah either. Congratulations Moffat County voters.

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