BY MELANIE BUCK –
Sheriff Scott Sawyer officially took office on Sunday, January 1, 2017 and is ready to jump into his new duties. Sawyer has been in law enforcement for 22 years, beginning his career at the Grannis Police Department before moving up to a county deputy, eventually becoming Chief Deputy under Sheriff Mike Godfrey.
Sawyer is thankful to follow such a great Sheriff. “I am really fortunate to follow Mike Godfrey as Sheriff. The decisions he made when he came into office were changes I would have made so, I have very few changes to make but I would like to add a couple of programs. We’re going to be changing our jail program and reporting program.
Some of his future plans include bringing the jail up to state standards and using citizens’ tax dollars wisely. “We are working with the state on finalizing our jail safety upgrade. The architects are working on the design now. The long-term plan is to probably add an addition to the current facility. It will not require a new tax. The public shot the tax down when we brought it to them so we’re going to Plan B. One of the hallmarks of my administration is we are going to show the public just how thrifty we can be. I’m going to get the most I can with their tax dollars.” He is looking forward to beginning the safety upgrade on the jail in late spring or early summer this year, with a completion date of phase one, the safety upgrade, two to three months after beginning. Sawyer also praised his department and is excited to work with such a great group.
As one of his first official duties, Sawyer announced Randy Jewell as his Chief Deputy. Jewell is a native of Vandervoort, graduating Van-Cove High School in 1997. He became a part-time reserve officer in 2006 and went full-time for Grannis PD in 2007. “I like to give back to the community. I’ve always been drawn to try to help people, especially those who can’t help themselves, those that don’t have a voice,” said Jewell of why he chose law enforcement as a career.
He was quite surprised and humbled when Sawyer asked him to be his Chief Deputy. “I was surprised. It was very much an honor,” said Jewell. “The ones who have done this job before me are the ones I’ve always looked up to. It’s an honor to be able to follow them and to continue to serve the citizens of Polk County. I work with an exceptional and outstanding group of people.”
Sawyer has also announced Seth Smith as Sergeant of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Sawyer said it had been a few years since the position had been filled and he felt that a third-in-command that could make decisions when he and Jewell are not at the department would only serve to benefit the county. Smith will also soon receive a K-9 narcotics dog that will also benefit the department.