Off the Cuff with San Juan County Sheriff, Shane Ferrari


San Juan Country Sheriff, Shane Ferrari, is three years into the job. He talks about the challenges of law enforcement at a time when it’s being demonized, to the reasons why he loves it. By Donna K. Hewett. Sponsored by Ace Hardware of Farmington and Distill Beer Wine Spirits

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The origins of the County Sheriff's Office trace back to ninth century, England. When the sheriff was the legal official responsible for keeping peace on behalf of the king in a County or Shire. Incredibly a dozen centuries later, that's exactly how San Juan County sheriff, Shane Ferrari describes his job, as peacemaker for the county. You're watching "The Local News Network" brought to you by Farmington ACE Hardware and Distill Beer Wine Spirits. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. When it's popular to demonize law enforcement, the challenge of being a peacemaker is even greater.

Here, we're living in a time where not only they have to be concerned about their own safety going out every day, and possibly encountering somebody that wants to do them harm. But there's a now lawyers that are directly targeting law enforcement because of qualified immunity and looking to make money. And so these guys out here are not only worried about their life, but worried about their financial stability, worried about their families, worried about losing their home. And that has turned a lot of people away from law enforcement. Has caused a lot of law enforcement, especially those who have very few years on to really reconsider what their profession is and feeling that maybe now is the best time to get out and get into something else.

Sheriff Ferrari has been forced to freeze promotions at the detective level, so that he can keep people out on the streets.

Because law enforcement's got a black eye right now. And those young people that have thought about law enforcement are considering other avenues right now just because of everything they hear. And that's been difficult to maintain the quality and level of service that we currently have, and it's really stifled me from being able to do anything else 'cause I don't have the manpower.

Sheriff Ferrari began his career as a reserve deputy and quickly moved up the ranks from a deputy working patrol to patrol captain. With 20 plus years of experience under his belt, the Farmington native was elected sheriff three years ago. He says, it's a job unlike any other.

Hey, there's not enough hours in the day . Not enough time. I squeeze every drop out of a 24 hours in a day. Being sheriff you're never off. It doesn't matter what your working schedule is, crime doesn't work that way, people's needs doesn't work that way. So you're married to the job. You have to have a very understanding spouse, which I do, but it's not just a Monday through Friday, or Monday through Thursday, it's 24 seven.

Wherever he goes, someone stops him to talk. It sometimes takes him an hour to buy a gallon of milk, but he seems particularly suited to listening to the people who voted for him, or did not.

It's the cost of being the boss and it's what you signed up for when you're sheriff, you're on 24 seven, and depending on what's happening at the time, a lot of people get the luxury of stepping away from their job, I don't. But at the same time, I love what I do and I love serving our community.

We'd like to thank sheriff Ferrari for his 25 years of selfless community spirit. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local "News Network." I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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