Message From Sheriff Pastor

From Sheriff Paul Pastor 3/24/2020

As expected, last night Governor Jay Inslee issued a “Stay Home – Stay Healthy” order directing all people in Washington State to not leave their residences except to conduct or participate in essential activities or for employment in essential business services.

These “essential activities” include:

  • obtaining necessary supplies and services (groceries and home goods)
  • engaging in activities essential for health and safety (medical services and supplies)
  • caring for a family member or friend in another residence
  • engaging in outdoor exercise (walking, biking, etc. only with social distancing)

So what does this mean for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department? It means we will continue to adapt and modify how we do business to meet these new challenges while still providing public safety. We are closing the public windows at our Property Room, the South Hill Precinct, at Headquarters, and the Jail Reception Desk. We are also looking at new ways to conduct our hiring processes and sex offender registrations.

Regarding enforcement of the Governor's order, I believe we should focus on working with people to educate and encourage compliance which is in everyone’s individual interests. I know that any centralized directive in the midst of a difficult situation is bound to bring questions and to breed rumors. The following summarizes the approach which the our department will take to the Governor’s directive, which is in conjunction with a statement issued by the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs:

  • In the face of the directive from the Governor, we will focus on educating residents on how to keep themselves safe, how to keep their families safe and most importantly, to keep the rest of the community safe, especially our more vulnerable populations.
  • We understand people in the community will need to make use of such basic services such as:
  1. Food, water, shelter
  2. Fuel
  3. Health care and medicine
  4. Energy (power and fuel)
  5. Communications
  6. Transportation
  • Our communities have shown they understand the severity of the situation and are doing all they can already to keep themselves, their families and neighbors safe and healthy. We have a community which pulls together and helps one another when there is a need.
  • When officers and deputies encounter people not complying with an order, we will remind them, as appropriate, of the recommendation and restrictions.
  • Rumors of individuals or businesses needing "passes" or "licenses" to conduct essential services are not true.

Here is my goal as we work through this. I want my people to be active in helping the community and be safe as they do so. We are very much still in business through disaster or disease or state directives. We will step forward to provide help and support and we ask that you meet us half-way with a bit of patience and the realization that we are in this together.

- Sheriff Paul Pastor

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We are here today to recognize 48 people.  Among them is Deputy Daniel McCartney who chose to intervene to stop perpetrators in a home invasion robbery.  As well as those who assisted him after he had been critically wounded and a chaplain who guided the McCartney family through the terrible loss of a husband and father.

All of the 48 people receiving awards advanced our Department Mission which is “To protect life and property, to uphold rights and to build stronger, more civil and livable communities partnering with the people we serve.”  And, they moved us closer to our ultimate mission which is Doing Justice and Undoing Injustice. 

They displayed our Core Values of Integrity, Responsibility, Respect, Courage and Compassion.  Values.  Now there is a term which seems almost old fashioned.  In today’s civic and business and political environment, we might ask “Where do we find real values in America?” 

If you want to see real values in action, then look at the people we acknowledge today. Because values of Integrity and Responsibility and Respect and Courage and Compassion are alive and well in the way they serve this community.

We know that this is a difficult time to carry-out our mission.  This is a time when we face regular challenges to what we do and how we do it.  This is a time when our demand is growing locally.  We do not live in a sleepy little rural county.  We serve in a large, complex urbanized county with more than its share of crime. 

We have seen a spike in serious crime over the last 12 weeks.  While I do not expect this spike to continue, our large volume of work is likely to grow as the population of the County grows. 
Through it all, some people tell us that we have a difficult, and thankless and heart-wrenching job.  To be sure, we have all encountered hard and heart-wrenching incidents.  We all have stories. But do not ever view us as victims.  We do what we do because we have volunteered for and accepted a special level of responsibility. 

We have all asked for the privilege of standing up for people in the communities we serve. We have asked for the difficult and complex and absolutely necessary work of making a moral difference in the community. 

True, this involves exposing ourselves to risk.  It involves sorting out the right thing to do often under chaotic, and, too often, under very dangerous circumstances.  Is it a hard job?  Oh yes it is.  It is at once difficult and can be heart-wrenching.  But first and foremost it is a deeply honorable privilege. 

Today, you will hear about people who rise above challenges.  People who, often, don’t have time or resources or sufficient staffing but they stand up and make a difference anyway.  They work long hours, they stretch themselves to the limit.  They face all of this in order to avert crisis, to provide help and to save lives. 

Today you will hear about people who have stepped up on behalf of others.  People who, in the face of difficulty, do tremendous things.  People who show tremendous dedication and heart on a regular basis; on the street and in the jail and at all points in between.  Today you will hear about honor, and hope and how our people translate values into action.”