Planning & Research

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This directive is for internal use only and does not enlarge an employee’s civil liability in any way. The directive should not be construed as creating a higher duty of care, in an evidentiary sense, with respect to third party civil claims against employees. Violations of this directive, if proven, can only form the basis of a complaint by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office for non-judicial administrative action in accordance with the rules and laws governing employee discipline.
APPROVED BY:Sheriff Ken Christesen EFFECTIVE DATE: 8/21/2016


The purpose of this policy is to establish written guidelines for the planning, research, and evaluation of plans, programs, and changes in order to meet the goals and objectives of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.


It is the objective of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office to develop strategies and goals through planning and research for the efficient utilization of personnel, equipment, and resources, in ways that most effectively deliver law enforcement services and favorably affect public welfare.


The following definitions shall apply for the purposes of this policy:

  • Command Staff – Personnel at the rank of captain and above.

  • Division - The two Sections of the Sheriff’s Office are subdivided into Divisions. Each Division is supervised by a lieutenant or a civilian supervisor.

  • Sections – The Sheriff’s Office is organized into two major areas of responsibility called Sections. These are the Administrative and Operations Sections. The supervisor over each of these Sections reports to the Undersheriff. The Administrative Section is supervised by the Administrative Captain and the Operations Section is supervised by the Operations Captain.

  • Staff – Personnel at the rank of lieutenant and above, as well as the civilian operations supervisors.



Planning is normally a function of the Sheriff’s Office Staff and will be conducted as needs are identified. Generally, research and development of plans is a group effort involving staff members from affected Sections. The Sheriff has the final authority for the implementation of all plans.

All members of the agency have an interest and responsibility to participate in the planning and research process. Any employee wishing to make a suggestion for improvement in operational or administrative procedures may forward suggestions directly to any supervisor, including the Sheriff. Alternatively, the employee may submit an anonymous suggestion in the Suggestion Box located in the first floor break room. The Support Services Lieutenant will check the Suggestion Box monthly for employee input. Suggestions are also welcomed from any other source, including the general public.

Suggestions will be reviewed by the Sheriff’s Staff. When appropriate, the Sheriff or Command Staff may assign an employee to research and develop a plan regarding a suggestion. Individuals assigned responsibility for planning and research will have access to the Sheriff and Command Staff without going through their normal chain of command.

Plans, changes, and programs implemented for the Sheriff’s Office should have a specific purpose. To ensure the desired outcome is being achieved, regular evaluations should be conducted. In the event a change or program is not enhancing the operations of the Sheriff’s Office, alternate methods should be explored.


Three times a year the supervising staff member over each division identifies and relays the goals, needs, and objectives of their respective divisions in one-on-one presentations to the Command Staff. Crime analysis data may provide crucial information for immediate and long term planning, and should be utilized when applicable. At a minimum, the presentations should include:

  • Goals and operational objectives;
  • Anticipated workload and population trends;
  • Anticipated personnel levels;
  • Anticipated capital improvements;
  • Anticipated operational and equipment needs; and
  • An evaluation, and if necessary, updating of previously identified goals and objectives.

The Command Staff evaluates the information and, after approval from the Sheriff, makes assignments as necessary. Progress toward the attainment of goals and objectives is an agency-wide effort and will be regularly evaluated by staff. Normally the assignment stays with the division staff member or his/her chain of command. However, it is recognized that all members of the agency possess specialized knowledge within their area, or previous areas, of assignment. Therefore, any member could be drawn upon to assist in the assignment.

Agency goals and objectives are available to all employees upon request.