The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office now has two extra sets of eyes and ears to help take a bite out of crime.
Don Krivanek and Robert Griffin are the first two Del Norters to volunteer for the DNSO’s Auxiliary Patrol Program.
“This project has been a long time coming but it needed to be done the right way. Don and Robert are excellent additions to the DNSO and I’m thankful they've decided to volunteer,” Sheriff Erik Apperson said. “This is a wonderful example of what makes Del Norte County so special. Quality volunteers are often the lifeblood of any small community.”
In addition to their mutual excitement to join the program, Krivanek and Griffin share a lot in common — both have experience as volunteer fire fighters and extradition officers, commanding the Coast Guard Auxiliary Sea Cadets, and both are military vets (Marines for Krivanek and Army for Griffin).
Both successfully completed an application process that included a background check.
Apperson said both were ideal candidates to kick off the Auxiliary Patrol Program, which had been in the works for more than a year, but delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They already came with training, and just needed to be acclimated to building chain of command, equipment and radios,” Apperson said.
He explained the Auxiliary Patrol will have a very specific duty to be the eyes and ears of the sheriff’s office, reporting their observations in real time from problem areas within the county.
Krivanek and Griffin will patrol the county in an old DNSO patrol car that Apperson said is in decent shape thanks to Tom Kinney at California Auto Image. The vehicle has graphics on the side that read “Auxiliary.” Apperson added they’ll also be wearing a uniform they designed and acquired on their own.
While the duo will report any suspicious findings to dispatch, they will not take part in any other aspect of enforcing the law, including chases or apprehensions, Apperson said.
“However, they will not be driving around and waving,” he added. “They will be geared toward problem-oriented policing, in the early and late morning hours. I’m proud to provide the patrol to the community. I certainly couldn’t have done it without the support of quality people helping.”
Apperson said his office, located at 650 5th St., is always looking for more volunteers for the Auxiliary Patrol Program. Several have already applied and are filtering through now.
“If you have turned an application in and haven’t heard back yet, be patient,” he added.