Merry Christmas and happy holidays from your Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO)!
The year 2022 offered both challenges and opportunities for the sheriff’s office, beginning with the impacts of the unprecedented flooding in November 2021. The staff at WCSO’s Division of Emergency Management continued to work diligently throughout 2022 to provide resources and support for the recovery process.
In January, the unreliability of the jail elevators became a challenge to the daily operations of the jail. While the inoperable elevators were repaired at the time, their continued unreliability remains an ongoing concern that impacts visitation and the ability to swiftly respond to incidents involving employee and inmate safety, as well as provide an emergency medical response to the upper floors.
Ongoing facility issues and lack of adequate jail space highlight the need for a new replacement correction facility to address growing public safety concerns.
The sheriff’s office and our behavioral health deputies continue to work with local service providers to assist those in crisis related to mental health or substance use.
We are currently working with the health department on a co-responder program, partnering behavioral health specialists with deputies to efficiently provide services to people where they are.
Our Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force has worked closely with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to identify and investigate those involved in the sale and distribution of fentanyl in our communities.
Over the last year, the task force has been involved in several large-scale investigations that resulted in the seizure of large quantities of fentanyl and the arrest of those responsible for distributing these deadly drugs throughout our county.
Finally, none of our staff and many in our community will ever forget the aggravated assault of two of our deputies on February 10, 2022. Both deputies were shot by an armed suspect while investigating a neighborhood dispute in the Kendall area.
Both deputies, despite their injuries, followed their training and took care of each other and area residents until other law enforcement arrived. Several area residents took immediate action to assist both deputies. We are thankful for the overwhelming support from the community and look forward to both deputies returning to duty.
As we look forward to 2023, your sheriff’s office will continue to work at keeping Whatcom County the safest county in the state through excellence in public safety.
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