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Sheriff’s Office conducts outreach effort

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is trying to increase its visibility by reaching out to the public.

Deputies have recently taken people on virtual tours to show what it’s like to be on patrol or inside the jail.

The virtual tour of the jail took place Friday, with sheriff’s personnel talking about the areas being shown.

“We wanted to show the public areas they don’t get to see,” said Aaron Lewis, public information officer for the sheriff’s office. “This is our jail, and this is what’s going on.”

One of the highlights included discovery of contraband inside the women’s unit of the jail — a toothbrush with a spiked end that could be used as a weapon.

The virtual ride-along with a patrol sergeant included such situations as a baby having difficulty breathing and a domestic dispute. It was presented live late last year.

“We’re just trying to have some transparency and show people what we’re doing,” Lewis said. “The pandemic slowed down community engagement, and now we’re starting back up again.”

The next event will be a “Coffee With a Cop” event from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday at the Starbucks at 7340 Crater Lake Highway in White City.

Sheriff Nathan Sickler will be there along with other personnel.

Lewis said the event will provide residents with an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns.

There are also plans for another virtual jail tour and, sometime this year, a citizens police academy, Lewis said.

The sheriff’s office is open to ideas for more aspects of law enforcement to highlight. Call 541-774-6800 or leave such suggestions on the social media accounts of the sheriff’s office.

People who haven’t seen the virtual tours of the jail or ride-along can view them on the Instagram page of the agency, www.instagram.com/jcsheriffor/.

Reach reporter Terri Harber at tharber@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4468.