Birch Bay, meet your new neighborhood deputy

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Deputy Derek Jones started as Birch Bay’s newest deputy on January 4, replacing deputy Todd Damon who had been the neighborhood deputy since 2017. Jones talked with The Northern Light about everything from his background in law enforcement to what he wants his relationship with the community to look like.

What brought you to Whatcom County and how long have you worked for the sheriff’s office?

I moved here in 2006 to go to Western Washington University. I’m originally from Bremerton. I started with the sheriff’s office in January 2019, but I was a police officer for Western Washington University for 10 years before that.

How did you become involved in law enforcement?

I think it’s something I always wanted to do. My dad’s a sheriff’s deputy in Kitsap County and so is my grandpa. I knew I wanted to do law enforcement and then I got to Western and had applied for a job doing student security. It worked its way from there – I became a student dispatcher and then a full-time dispatcher and then a police officer.

What do you want your relationship with the Birch Bay community to look like?

Deputy Todd Damon has done a great job with the community and the chamber of commerce and I hope to keep that great relationship going. I want people to feel comfortable when I’m out walking around, or sitting in my car, to come up and chat with me or send me emails about concerns they have in the community. I want to be a real friendly face.

What will an average day look like for you in Birch Bay?

I expect that I will do some patrols, depending if there are burglaries or car prowls. Especially at the beginning of my time here, I’m going to try to get out to every business in the area and give them my card, introduce myself and let them know I’m here if they need anything. Obviously things will change and when it’s nicer weather, we can do community events, too.

What community events do you want to be involved in?

The Fourth of July is a huge time at the bay. I’m looking to do more events to help people, maybe with a program like Operation ID, where people log their valuables and things in case there is a car prowl or burglary. I’m looking to do a program where we can get people’s expired medication turned in so they don’t get out in the street. These are programs that I’m looking forward to doing but also if the community reaches out and says ‘hey, can the sheriff’s office be involved in this event?’ Great, I’ll show up and do whatever I can.

What are you most excited about starting the new job?

I’m excited to get out in the community and put a face to the sheriff’s office. Deputy Damon has obviously already done that but it’s something that’s very important in today’s climate with things. Community policing has been a buzz word but without the community, we wouldn’t have a need for the police department. I’m excited to do those events and meet people and say ‘the sheriff’s office is full of deputies who care about this area that they live in and here’s the things that we do.’

People with non-emergency inquiries can contact deputy Jones at 360/778-6781 or djones@whatcomcounty.us. Anyone with an emergency should call 911.

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