Story number four is the sheriff’s office. 2010 saw many events in the sheriff’s office. The year began with two candidates for Sheriff. Neil Porter and Blaine Breshears. Both candidates actively engaged in the debate and ran good campaigns throughout the summer. Then, in September Porter decided that he would prefer to stay in his current job and withdrew from the election making Breshears the new Sheriff.
Breshears is a long time deputy of the Morgan Sheriff’s office and is familiar with the opportunities and challenges. He will take office just after the new year and will inherit a department that has settled the challenges with Morgan City. The contract with the city was signed early in the year and city officials seem happy with the arrangement. The city is receiving the dedicated police force they wanted and the Sheriff’s office has maintained the contract, the funding, the officers, and some of the flexibility.
Breshears is also inheriting a department where the pay is low and turnover is relatively high.
The sheriff’s office lost Deputy Nikkole Malan after she lost control of her vehicle while off duty and was sited with a DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, and other related issues.
Later in the year the Sheriff’s office lost a deputy to the Utah Highway Patrol and one to Riverdale. Austin Turner, who was a candidate for county council and who is a police officer in another county stated in his interviews that he would have to take a pay cut to take the Sheriff’s job in Morgan County. The issue of pay has been a continual problem for the Sheriff’s office in retaining deputies.
The pay disparity between Morgan and other police forces will be one of the challenges that Breshears will have to face as he takes office in an austere budget climate. Breshears will also be working with his staff to ensure that the new public safety building will meet the needs of the county. Depending upon the size of the building that is ultimately constructed he may be managing a move to a new facility for this entire department.
Breshears also will take responsibility for a department that has managed to keep crime at relatively low rates and has been successful at maintaining a quality police force in spite of salary challenges. Breshears will certainly see his leadership skills put to good use as he navigates the waters of a limited budget and a growing county in the coming years.