Inyo County Grand Jury studies Sheriff’s department high turnover rate

News release

The Inyo County Grand Jury on Friday released an interim report focusing on
the high turnover at Inyo County Sheriff’s Department to other local law
enforcement agencies.

The report and any future responses will be available on the Inyo Superior
Court website or by request at both the Bishop and Independence

To obtain a copy, please contact Alyse Caton in the Jury Services
Department at (760) 872-2859.


[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”2019 County of Inyo Grand Jury Report – First Interim (1)”]

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23 Responses to Inyo County Grand Jury studies Sheriff’s department high turnover rate

  1. Thomas July 2, 2019 at 6:55 am #

    I haven’t seen much discussion given to a subject which I know to be very important to young career-track law enforcement officers: internal upward mobility opportunities. After about three-and-a-half years on patrol, a P-III level officer starts to think about the next step, and in a big and growing department, that might be taking the sergeant grade I exam, taking the D-I detective exam, or applying to become a senior lead officer. All of those involve base pay increases, but more importantly, each is a career step in upward mobility.

    In order to afford the young P-III those choices, a department needs to be growing and creating openings at those levels. Without such opportunities, the young officer will inevitably start to think about options. Those options might be in neighboring jurisdictions, and if those options also involve a base pay increase, so much the better in the analysis of the young officer.

    So I would suggest that if a particular agency cannot offer advancement opportunities due to lack of openings at one step above the P-III level, there are other career enhancement options that could be offered those young officers, in lieu of promotion openings. Sending the officer on paid time to select continuing LEO education academies would be attractive. There are agencies around the country which offer enrollment in their training programs to out-of-area officers and deputies. Another loyalty incentive would be tuition assistance for state college credits toward a police science degree. Another would be to arrange to send an officer or deputy, on paid time, on TDY with a major metropolitan agency to work in a specialized unit for a month. That type of arrangement could be created, and it would afford a deputy or officer with a smaller agency in a rural area the learning opportunity to work with senior-level leadership personnel in specialized units. This would offer training not otherwise available to that officer or deputy. All of these things will be attractive to young career-minded professionals. They will also augment the professionalism which the young officer provides his or her department.

    While the above loyalty incentives don’t come for free to the employing agency, they would in aggregate cost less than giving across -the- board raises to all the officers. Parity is a great goal, but more compensation without career advancement opportunities will not be enough.

    Thank you for reading my comments.

  2. Overtime Omission July 1, 2019 at 11:47 am #

    I downloaded public salary records for Inyo County at For the 30 ICSO Sergeants, Corporals, and Deputies, 2018 overtime pay averaged $13,528. If you take out the Sergeants, average overtime pay was $15,130, with a range from $6,751 to $31,610 for ICSO employees working the full year.

    I think in order to make fair compensation comparisons to other local law enforcement agencies, overtime, benefits, and “other” pay should have been considered. How does overtime and benefits at ICSO stack up with Bishop PD or Mono County? I feel like the Grand Jury missed the mark on this report by focusing solely on base pay.

  3. Old Yeller June 30, 2019 at 11:01 pm #

    I’m sure it has nothing to do with the elected sheriff. Or a undersherrif with LITTLE TO NO REAL time on the streets before being given his position. Let’s not forget the last couple embezzlement’s were ICSO working at the jail. Let’s not forget the situation & handling of a K9 that was removed for the citizens of inyo county And how about the ICSO who was involved with family of the missing child. The fact that so many icso have left the department ( after icso has payed to train them ), says A LOT initself about the department, and those elected to lead the department. but If I was inyo I’d spend a ton of money, waste A LOT OF TIME and get no answers.

  4. Shameless Sam June 28, 2019 at 9:15 am #

    Thanks Mr. Shepherd.

    But, in my view, the fact that the Inyo County Grand Jury – and its legal advisors and judicial overseers – felt it OK to smugly summarize its report with a silly quote from a silly movie shows it has no respect for the public, the law, or itself.

    I have better things to do than to play in the sandbox with the Inyo County Grand Jury.

  5. John Shepherd June 27, 2019 at 5:54 pm #

    Liked the report, didn’t like it, thought the report could have been better? Now’s your chance; 18 or older, not been convicted of a felony, lived in Inyo County at least a year? Ask to be appointed to the next Grand Jury! If you were County Grand Juror you could really have an impact on what gets investigated and reported next year!

    The Superior Court is still accepting applications for a very short period.

    Being a Grand Juror is challenging and a lot of work, but very rewarding! (some comments above notwithstanding)

  6. David Dennison June 27, 2019 at 3:59 pm #

    Hurdy Gurdy….When I check the Inyo County Sheriffs citizen RIM page and most of those arrested…the crime they did to end up in jail and their charges,and with most,it seems their listed “occupation” is “unemployed”,I’m sure they come there with a bevy of expensive items the Sheriff’s personal pick-and-choose and fight over what and what not to steal and take from them while they’re incarcerated.

    • Old Yeller June 30, 2019 at 11:04 pm #

      David, head under a Rock much?
      2 icso have been CHARGED & CONVICTED of embezzlement while working at the jail. Yes RECENTLY.

  7. Hurdy Gurdy Man June 27, 2019 at 12:11 pm #

    I guess their low pay is why the Sheriff folks keep stealing from inmates at the jail.

  8. Almost Native June 26, 2019 at 2:51 am #

    Sounds to me like you guys are judging a book by its cover!

  9. MTNBOY June 25, 2019 at 6:55 pm #

    While pay may be an important component as to why deputies are leaving, a through investigation of this subject should include interviewing Deputies who have left the department, and asking them about the quality and professionalism of Sheriff’s Department Management, from the Sheriff down to the Sergeant level.

  10. sugarmags June 25, 2019 at 7:57 am #

    I have to agree with the comments noting this report as unprofessional at best. The quote on the cover page is completely unfathomable that someone would think that it was appropriate to include.
    Additionally, they appear to have not considered any other possible cause for high attrition. This report appears to be a completely un-objective report. Sad, they could’ve done a thorough report and possibly come to the same conclusion which would’ve bolstered their claim. Instead, they wrote this piece of crap which makes people question their claim.

  11. Union Stooge June 25, 2019 at 6:45 am #

    Here’s what:

    The absurd and juvenile quote from Smokey and the Bandit on the cover of the report – which clearly implies that deputies are leaving because they are not getting enough money.

    This, coupled with the foreperson’s statement that the report is being released to “assist” in on-going confidential salary negotiations, shows that the grand jury is trying to insinuate itself and its recommendations into those secret negotiations.

    That is taking sides.

    • Charles O. Jones June 25, 2019 at 9:00 am #

      I would agree that the Smokey quote sounds inappropriate for an official GJ report. That aside, It is entirely possible the facts support the notion that personnel are leaving for “greener” pastures elsewhere. If so, the elected officials should have access to that info during the negotiation process. There’s nothing good about a revolving door with public safety employees. Leaders should concern themselves with attracting and retaining the best people possible.

      • Overpaid and Underworked June 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm #

        And I would agree that elected officials need to be informed as they conduct labor negotiations.

        But those negotiations are conducted in private.

        The public – WHO PAYS FOR ALL OF THIS – is kept in the dark.

        So I just think it inappropriate for the Grand Jury to take sides in secret negotiations from which the bill-paying public is excluded.

        Moreover, the deputies have their own union representatives to negotiate on their behalf.

        And those representatives presumably have access to the same data and information as the Grand Jury.

        So why does the Grand Jury feel the need to assist the union negotiators?

        I hope the Board of Supervisors tells the Grand Jury to butt out.

        • Charles O. Jones June 26, 2019 at 11:23 am #

          The screen names you’ve chosen certainly support the likelihood that you’re far from neutral or objective on this subject. Unless you have read the entire report, you’ve made the assumption that info contained in it is unfairly slanted towards the employees. I’d prefer to read the report for myself before coming to any conclusions. And I’d like to know who initiated the report to begin with? It may have been at the request of the county to assist them in negotiations. If so, the GJ isn’t butting in at all.

          • Charles O. Jones June 26, 2019 at 12:05 pm #

            Update: I just read the report online. As suspected, the report contains many facts and findings relating to the high turnover rate and the associated costs to county. Former and current employees were interviewed. I didn’t find the report slanted one way or the other. Basically it contains objective info that could be useful for elected officials.

            There are three recommendations at the conclusion of the report. Two of which are very practical and neutral recommendations. The third recommends pay parity with the local agencies Inyo County has lost employees to. While arguably this is also a practical advice, I’d prefer not to have the GJ offering specific recommendations on compensation.

            Bottom line, other than the unprofessional title and the one recommendation, I have no problems with this report.

  12. Charles O. Jones June 24, 2019 at 7:19 pm #

    Obscenely wrong? Strong words. What leads you to conclude the report is advocating one way or the other? Such a report could contain objective facts and findings which will assist elected officials in their decision making process.

  13. Grand Stooge Railroad June 24, 2019 at 7:56 am #

    This is obscenely wrong.

    According to the letter to Judge Lamb from Grand Jury foreperson Shepherd, this interim report is being issued to assist with “on-going discussions concerning salaries in the Sheriff’s Department.”

    The Grand Jury has no business interjecting itself into “on-going salary discussions.”

    Those are confidential negotiations about which the public – who pays the salaries – knows nothing.

    The Grand Jury can make findings and recommendations; it cannot and should not become an advocate for one side of those negotiations i.e., the deputy’s union.

    Business as usual in retrograde Inyo County.

    • Old Yeller June 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm #

      HAY DERAILEDROAD, WTF ARE YOU SERIOUS !!!?? IDIOTA ( try blacks law for the definition) any public office , personal, and funding is All Available online and by request at the county clerk.
      I’ll help you out since you seem to believe its ALL PRIVATE

      F.O.I.A NOTHING IS PRIVATE ( freedom of information act)

      • The Idiot July 1, 2019 at 7:30 am #

        Labor negotiations between unions and their employers are confidential.

        Confidential is another word for private.

        Were it otherwise those negotiations would not occur.

        But maybe you have a link to the negotiations between the Deputy’s union and the County?

        If so, please share.

        • Old Yeller July 4, 2019 at 12:24 am #

          Just so you understand… the LEO unions HAVE ZERO CAPABILITY TO NEGOTIATE ANY SALARY for any member.
          They set working conditions, policies, safety , pobar, procedures. NOT PAY.

          • Old Yeller July 6, 2019 at 4:52 pm #

            I’m sorry… you hate the truth ..

          • Meyers Milas Brown July 9, 2019 at 4:58 am #

            A union that can’t negotiate pay for its dues-paying members isn’t much of a union.


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