Two recent crashes involving Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicles has prompted the agency to review its training protocols for how deputies respond to emergency calls.
The DCSO trains each deputy annually on Emergency Vehicle Operation Course (EVOC) driver training. The patrol division of the office logs nearly one million miles driven every year, with nearly two million miles driven for the entire Sheriff’s Office.
In early January Deputy Clint Baltzor was involved in a three-car crash on Highway 97 just north of Bend as he responded to an incident in Terrebonne
And in November last year, two people were injured in after a car pulled out in front of Deputy Kiersten Ochsner, who was rushing to the scene of another accident.
Nobody was seriously injured in the two crashes.
“Due to these crashes though, we have reviewed our operations and immediately implemented training to discuss our vehicle speeds and the environmental factors that affect the manner in which deputy sheriffs respond to emergency calls for service,” the agency said in a statement. “We will be adding additional training to our annual EVOC training that discusses factors in emergency response and how an awareness of the factors can aid a deputy sheriff in determining an appropriate response.”
Captain Paul Garrison said “As is standard practice, our office conducted an initial review of these two crashes and recognized there was a need to address our operations of patrol vehicles when responding to emergency calls for service. We immediately performed training with all of our patrol teams and will continue to address this during our annual trainings of emergency vehicle operations course (EVOC).”
In regards to the January crash, Deputy Clint Baltzor will participate in a Sheriff’s Office Crash Review Board, which will assess what occurred in the crash. After the Crash Review Board completes its review, the Division Commander will review the findings and recommend personnel action if necessary.
In the November 2019 crash, involving Deputy Kiersten Ochsner, a Sheriff’s Office Crash Review Board has been completed. The Division Commander will review the findings and recommend personnel action if necessary.
The process of a Crash Review Board and review by the Division Commander are guided by DCSO policy and procedures.