The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division provides uniformed police service to all of the unincorporated areas of San Juan County, with the exception of parts of the County that are within the Navajo Indian Reservation.
The County is divided into ten districts and deputies are assigned to cover one or more of these districts during a shift. Deputies work out of the main office or one of the two substations, depending on the district assignment. The Sheriff’s Office provides 24-hour coverage by utilizing three ten-hour shifts in every 24-hour period. The overlap between the shifts is designed to have more deputies working during busy times. Deputies bid for shifts and days off three times a year, and they have fixed work hours and days off for four months at a time. Deputies have four ten-hour work days and three days off every week. The Patrol Division currently consists of 42 Patrol Deputies, six Patrol Sergeants and two Lieutenants. The Division is overseen by the Operations Captain. Some additional operations are also managed within the structure of the Patrol Division such as two Community Resource Deputies who staff the substations and three Animal Control Officers who patrol the County and handle most animal related complaints. The Sheriff’s Office also has specialized operations that are staffed with Patrol Deputies as needed, such as the Special Response Team and the Dual-Purpose Motorcycle Team.
Uniformed Patrol Deputies must be versatile in order to handle a wide variety of incidents. They are dispatched to calls for service by the San Juan County Communications Authority. These calls include a variety of assignments such as search missions, security details, burglary investigations, traffic accidents, domestic violence, fights, drive-by shootings, and homicides. Detectives are available to handle follow-up investigations on some of the most serious crimes; however, Patrol Deputies conduct preliminary investigations on most of these cases and conduct a large number of investigations from the initial stages through prosecution.
During times when Deputies are not handling calls, they conduct patrols to watch for suspicious activity and also attempt to address traffic-related safety issues by stopping traffic law violators and issuing citations or making arrests, such as in DWI cases.
This table shows the steady increase in Patrol activity over the last five years, which corresponds to the County’s growing population. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing quality service on every contact with the public and we will continue to work with the community to find new ways to accomplish this as the demands for service continue to grow.