Sheriff’s office preserves history
|Plaques of the past Lassen County Sheriff’s will be hung in the lobby at the sheriff’s office. Photo by Sam Williams|
|This badge was determined to have been used by the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office between 1900 and 1935. A similar badge will be created for deputies to wear in 2014 when the sheriff’s office celebrates its 150th year.|
Feb. 23, 2013 — The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office has several projects in the works to help preserve and honor its history.
A sheriff’s office volunteer has helped compile a list of the past sheriffs and the time they served and an old-fashioned badge will be used to help commemorate the sheriff’s 150th year in 2014.
Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon gave a presentation about the projects during a Wednesday, Feb. 6 meeting of the Susanville Rotary.
Once hanging on the walls in the lobby of the sheriff’s office were pictures, varying in shapes and sizes, of past sheriffs. But according to Growdon, there were no names or dates of when they served.
With help from the volunteer, they established a clear record of who each sheriff was, the years they served and collected as many pictures as they could find.
A plaque was made for each person, and will be hung in the lobby.
According to Growdon, who was elected in 2010 and is the 26th sheriff, there are a number of sheriffs who don’t have pictures, but they are trying to locate them.
“But at least people will be able to come in and see who the sheriffs were and when they were in service,” he said.
Many of the past sheriffs served one to two years, but a few served a long time.
Olin Johnson, who served from 1935 to 1960, served the longest time in office and then resigned in January 1961. Ron Jarrell had the second longest term from 1983 to 2002 before he resigned.
James D. Byers, was the first sheriff of Lassen County, elected in May 1864.
Another way the sheriff’s office will be honoring its history is through an old badge.
Growdon said a man contacted him regarding a Lassen County Sheriff’s badge he purchased online.
According to Growdon, the manufacturer still exists, although now it makes sewing machines, but a person was able to determine the badge was used sometime between 1900 to 1935.
The badge will be recreated and placed on a plaque that will be on display at the Lassen County Hall of Justice.
In honor of the sesquicentennial year, deputies can purchase a badge similar to the old style and wear it during that time.
During the Rotary meeting, Growdon also shared the story about deputy Raymond C. Bogart, killed in the line of duty in Westwood in 1915 and will be enrolled in the California Peace Officers Memorial in May.
A plaque in honor of Bogart will also be placed at the courthouse joining the one for Larry Griffith, killed in the line of duty in 1995 when he responded to a domestic violence call in Ravendale.
Growdon said, “History’s important to me, especially the history of our sheriff’s office.”
Following the work of a prior sheriff who collected information on significant events, Growdon is also trying to recreate some of that history.
“Its pretty interesting when you look back at our history and the things our department has been through,” he said.
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