Sgt. William Bailey, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, and Ryan Seeley, local community monitor, were invited guests to the September 16 “Let’s Talk – Public Safety,” sponsored by Citizens4Community.

The evening was full of conversation from residents with a variety of viewpoints. One concern on which the group seemed to agree had to do with the lack of activities for teenagers during the summer and off-school hours. People are worried about underage drinking and problems caused by teens with too much time on their hands or out after curfew.

There was conversation around contracting for police services versus having Sisters’ own law enforcement department.

Sgt. Bailey provided background information and answered a number of questions, including some having to do with response times for calls. He explained that the 20 minutes it took for an officer to respond to a call regarding a home invasion in Sisters on September 9 (see “Charges reduced in home intrusion incident,” The Nugget, September 18, page 1) was due to the fact the officer on duty had just ended his shift and a different officer had to come from another jurisdiction like Redmond.

Bailey said the county-wide average response time is 9 to 13 minutes.

The contract between the City of Sisters and the DCSO requires 480 hours of service a month. Sgt. Bailey reported that most months officers are available 600-700 hours.

Bailey said the DCSO appreciates it when citizens call to report strange occurrences, possible dangerous activity, or crimes in progress. He repeated several times that reporting is good, but he said it is essential to let the officers do the police work.

Ryan Seeley said that because of his love for the community, he gives back by providing community watch in the later evening and early morning hours in his car. He has an amiable working relationship with the deputies responsible for patrolling Sisters and contacts them immediately when he comes across a crime in progress or a potential problem. Seeley reported he thinks “the deputies are a great team and do a great job.”

The non-emergency number for the DCSO is 541-693-6911.

The next C4C event will be a public forum on Thursday, October 24, at the fire hall, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., addressing freedom of speech with a panel of local citizens including a journalist, attorney, pastor, educator, and private business-owner.