4-way contest looming in June
The crowded race for Del Norte County sheriff has another entrant.
Crescent City Police Sgt. Erik Apperson has announced he intends to join Sheriff Dean Wilson, retired Sheriff Jim Maready and Yurok Police Sgt. Butch Lee on the ballot in June.
Apperson has been with the Police Department for 13 years — a sergeant for six. He previously worked as a correctional officer for the county for three years.
“I have a lot of time ahead of me, and I’m not doing this to end my career,” said Apperson. “I’m doing this because I feel likes it’s a calling. I want to develop a better relationship between law enforcement and the community we serve through building interdepartment morale, increasing public trust and providing transparency.”
Apperson said he would bring a new perspective to the job.
“It’s time to make progress, not only for our public, but for our deputies,” said Apperson.
As sergeant, Apperson assists with managing patrol operations of the Police Department. He is also a field training officer and runs the Crescent City Police Explorers, a program designed to give teenagers police training and leadership skills.
Apperson also founded and has run the Redwood Coast Leadership Academy, a week-long academy instructing teenagers in law enforcement-related subjects.
Lee has been in law enforcement for about 35 years in several locations including Santa Ana, Skagway, Alaska and Rogue River, Ore. Locally, he worked for the Sheriff’s Office for a few years and the Crescent City Police Department for 15 years. He has been with the Yurok Tribal Police since 2010.
“I believe I could bring some fresh ideas to the department that could take them further,” said Lee. “Right now the Sheriff’s Office is bleeding internally as far as manpower goes. I’m looking forward to that challenge. I believe I can get them to where they need to go and get the department back on an even keel.”
Lee said that he is also a firm believer in cooperation between the various law enforcement agencies.
“I think there’s a lot of members of the other law enforcement groups in the county that could be a definite asset to the Sheriff’s Office if approached in the right way.”
Sheriff Wilson is seeking his fourth term.
Wilson said recently he decided to run once again to ease the Sheriff’s Office through a transition period in which several high-ranking officers are retiring while others are being promoted. He also said he feels he needs to stick around to see that projects he has had a hand in are completed successfully.
Maready was sheriff from 1994 to 2002 before retiring. He worked for the Crescent City Police Department and Sheriff’s Office from 1972 until he was elected in 1994.
Maready said in January he hopes to reimplement programs and policies that were utilized during his tenure for youths and seniors.