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Sheriff’s office needs volunteers for substation

by Merrie Leininger

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a few good women and men.

The department needs volunteers to staff substations in the Ranchos, Topaz Ranch Estates and Sunridge Estates.

n The Topaz Ranch Estates substation is located at the intersection of Albite and Carter roads and can be reached at 266-1028.

Dorothy and Jack Webster, who have lived in TRE for 26 years, have volunteered at the substation for about two years.

“My son is a retired police lieutenant in Southern California, so we are pro-police by far. And it is a way to keep ourselves busy,” Dorothy Webster said. “(Sheriff) Ron Pierini treats us just wonderfully. They throw us barbecues and Christmas parties. It’s a lot of fun.”

While Webster said some days are slow, “Sometimes it’s a mad house. It’s nice to have people here so people can call and ask questions.”

Webster said the substation has about 12 regular volunteers and eight alternates, but needs a few more to fully staff the station.

Dorothy Webster said she hopes other people will get involved.

“It’s interesting. You’re doing something for the community,” she said. “You get to know the deputies that come in and sort of what’s going on.”

n The North Valley substation is located on North Sunridge Drive, just north of Haystack Drive and can be reached at 267-3691.

Stewart Stevens has volunteered there for about a year and a half.

“I saw they needed help in an ad in the paper. I’ve been retired for 13 years and decided, ‘Well, I better do something to give back to the community,'” Stevens said.

He said the job, while not very glamorous, definitely has its place in the community.

“You meet a lot of interesting people. We register bikes, engrave things for identification purposes,” Stevens said. “We don’t get involved in any crimes. If someone comes in, we get dispatch on the phone. We don’t write any reports, but our primary purpose is to man the station so that a deputy won’t be kept off the street. Because we’re here, there are more deputies on the street to protect everybody.”

He said everyone who volunteers must first get a background check and sign up with Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, the organization that provides insurance for the volunteers. They also provide some payment for mileage to and from the substation.

Stevens said the job is not demanding.

“A lot of members are couples because it works out well. If one can’t take a shift, the other can,” he said. “If you want to go fishing or something, you can just call somebody else to take your place.”

n The Ranchos substation is located in the Tillman Center and can be reached at 265-7090.

Doris Scheetz is the volunteer supervisor at the substation. She said she has about 18 volunteers right now because she has lost four within the last month alone.

Scheetz has been supervisor for two years. She, like most of the volunteers, said she wanted to give back to the community.

“I wanted to do my share. That’s the way most of my volunteers feel, that they’re helping the community,” Scheetz said.

The volunteers generally work one 4-hour shift per week. All three substations are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on the weekends.

The substations provide small services the community needs like selling dog licenses for Douglas County Animal Control, selling Christmas tree permits for the Bureau of Land Management, handing out fire permits for the fire departments and giving directions.

“The deputies have their own computers in there and come in to do their reports. We just provide a presence there,” Scheetz said.

Anyone who wants more information or wants to sign up to be a volunteer is asked to call one of the substations.