REACH OUT.
BE A PART OF YOUR COMMUNITY.
BECOME A S.T.A.R
(SHERIFF’S TEAM OF ACTIVE RETIREES)

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office would like to invite you to apply for the upcoming S.T.A.R. Academy being held August 3rd – 14th, 2015. The Academy training hours are Monday – Friday from 9 am – 12 pm, with an afternoon driver proficiency training and law enforcement support visits. The S.T.A.R. training academy will be held at the Senior Center 3050 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Academy training is diversified with instruction and interactive participation provided by experienced senior S.T.A.R.s and deputies. The Academy will conclude with a formal uniformed graduation on Friday evening, August 14th.

S.T.A.R.s are the “eyes and ears” of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. They patrol the highways and byways of El Dorado County in specially marked vehicles.

Our duties involve patrolling the county roads looking for bear break-ins, checking trailheads for cars that may have been broken into, vehicle abatement, manning roadblocks for downed power lines and trees, assisting in Search and Rescue operations, participating in school lockdown drills, and traffic control; during forest fires, at accident scenes, for emergency helicopter landings, and checking on homes while the owners are on vacation.

S.T.A.R.s assist at community events with parking or traffic control, we participate in local parades, the Drug Store Project, Sober Grad Night, The Day of the Young Child, Treat Street, and the annual Air Fest.

To qualify for the S.T.A.R. program, applicants must be 50 years or older, have a good driving record, no criminal history, a physical clearance from a doctor, and pass an oral interview and background investigation. Mandatory participation requirements are: Volunteer a minimum of 16 hours per month, attend a monthly station meeting, and purchase a uniform.

Interested persons should contact the S.T.A.R. office at (530) 573-3005 for more information and an application.

All Fireworks are Illegal in El Dorado County

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, Sheriff D’Agostini wants to remind everyone that fireworks of any kind are illegal in El Dorado County. Any person caught possessing, transporting, purchasing, selling, or even storing fireworks could be cited or arrested and booked into the El Dorado County Jail for violating the misdemeanor county ordinance. Illegal fireworks in El Dorado County even include sparklers or those sold in Sacramento County as “Safe and Sane”. All fireworks will be confiscated as evidence, rendered safe, and properly disposed of.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks every Fourth of July. Despite the danger, few people understand or respect the associated risks such as devastating burns, severe injuries to eyes, ears and extremities, structure fires, wildland fires and even death. Yet many who use illegal fireworks do so without fear of repercussions or consequences.

Please have a fun and safe holiday weekend in El Dorado County, without the fear of fire or injury! Pyrotechnics can be enjoyed by the whole family at several venues over the weekend to include the El Dorado County Fair Grounds, South Lake Tahoe, and Town Center in El Dorado Hills on July 3rd. The fireworks over Cameron Park Lake were last weekend.

So please make your celebration a safe one without endangering yourselves or your neighbors. With dry conditions due to heat and the drought, safety should be paramount for everyone. There is a lot to celebrate over Independence Day, so have fun and stay safe! If you see others using fireworks, please report it to law enforcement immediately. You may be saving someone’s life, home, neighborhood, or our forest lands.

Lt. Tom Murdoch

Prescription Drug Take Back

On Sunday, July 12th, 2015, from noon to 5:00 P.M. Sheriff John D’Agostini and members of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office will be giving the citizens of El Dorado County a great opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications. On the date of the take back, El Dorado County Residents can bring their unwanted medications in pill or liquid form to the following listed locations for collection and disposal. (If you are disposing of hypodermic needles or other sharp devices, for safety purposes, please keep them separated from medications that are turned in.

  • El Dorado Hills Residents, The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sub-Station, located at 4354 Town Center BLVD Suite 112 in El Dorado Hills.
  • For Cool area Residents, Holiday Market 5030 Ellinghouse Drive in Cool.
  • For Georgetown area residents, Fire Station 61 located at 6281 Main Street, Georgetown, (0800-1200 hours)
  • For Camino, Cedar Grove, Pollock Pines, and Fresh Pond Residents, Safeway Supermarket 6498 Pony Express Trail in Pollock Pines.
  • For Placerville, El Dorado, Diamond Springs residents, The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department in Placerville, located at 300 Fair Lane in Placerville.
  • For Somerset, Grizzly Flat, and Mount Aukum residents, The U.S. Post Office located at 6040 Grizzly Flat Road in Somerset.
  • For Cameron Park, Rescue, and Shingle Springs residents, Safeway Supermarket located at 3380 Coach Lane in Cameron Park.
  • For South Lake Tahoe residents, Lira’s Market located at 2977 Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Over 8 previous years the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners have collected more than 1,400 tons of prescription medications during Take Back events.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies have shown that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Americans are also being advised that their usual methods for disposing unused or unwanted medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash- both pose potential health and safety hazards and are dangerous to our water systems and environment.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is no longer being funded; however Sheriff John D’Agostini felt that this program was important for the safety of the citizens of El Dorado County and the overall welfare of our communities. The Sheriff is committed to funding this program locally. Sheriff John D’Agostini is asking the citizens of El Dorado County to spread the word and to take part in this worthwhile event in helping keep the citizens and El Dorado County safe.

Heroin Arrest

On 06/17/15 at about 10:42 AM, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence in the 5000 block of Forty Niner Trail in Placerville for a person allegedly using narcotics. At the residence, deputies contacted 20 year-old Joseph Richard. Spoons commonly used to reduce heroin into a liquid form by heating them, small cotton pieces commonly used to filter drugs before injection, and hypodermic needles and syringes were found. A small amount of a black sticky tar like substance was located that appeared to be heroin. A glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine was also recovered. Richard was taken into custody and transported to the Jail for possession of an illegal substance and drug paraphernalia. He is still in custody on $17,000 bail.

Lt. Tom Murdoch

Joseph RichardBooking photo of Joseph Richard

Explosions and Shock Waves Heard in El Dorado County

Possible contributing factors explored:

The Sheriff’s Office recently contacted Naval Air Station Fallon and Hawthorne Army Depot in our neighboring state of Nevada. Both installations confirmed that they conduct daily ordinance explosions for various reasons. For example, Naval Air Station Fallon deploys aerial bombs and live ordinance detonations as part of their training regimen. High speed fighter/bomber aircraft that are assigned to the Station can break the sound barrier during flight. Flights are often higher in altitude than the elevation of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that separate us. They said they conduct these kinds of operations at various hours throughout the week.

Hawthorne Army Depot said it conducts ordinance disposal operations Monday through Friday between the hours of 11:00am and 2:00pm. These particular hours of operation are consistent with most of the explosions reportedly heard in the Swansboro area of the county. The Depot is housed on about 147,236 acres just outside of Hawthorne Nevada with manufacturing, storage, and demilitarization of conventional (non-nuclear) ordinance capabilities.

All of these explosions and operations coupled with atmospheric conditions, geography, altitude, and distances all play a factor in the way sound travels. Considering that the Naval Air Station in Fallon Nevada is about 160 miles away from the Mosquito / Swansboro area, while the Hawthorne Army Depot is located approximately 200 miles away, they are most likely the source of some noise. Military personnel from both locations confirmed it is possible for the sound created by these explosions and breaking the sound barrier at altitude can reach areas within El Dorado County. However, they remain somewhat skeptical that these detonations could be heard from this distance on a daily basis as atmospheric conditions change.

According to the Sheriff’s Office Records Division, no local explosive permits have been issued that could be the source or cause of this noise.