By Rich Wicks | Times Vedette

During the regular weekly meeting of the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors on April 23, the supervisors met with Sheriff Marty Arganbright for a general update on his department and to discuss departmental policies. Supervisor Mike Dickson asked the status on the department’s SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).

“Well, I guess the question’s coming up about your SOPs that you had. Where are they at, are you getting them updated?” Dickson asked.

“This SOP’s always been available, in my office…it’s always been that way,” Arganbright replied.

Arganbright updated the supervisors about the ongoing process of updating the SOPs.

“We’ve been working three months on it, and we’re about done with the updated one. This changes every year because of different rules and laws,” said Arganbright. “We called an assistant chief from West Des Moines. He’s willing to take a look at it and make sure it’s all done correctly.”

Supervisor Maggie Armstrong asked when the most recent revision of the department’s SOPs was, and Arganbright said it was most recently completed in 2017. Armstrong then asked the timeline for completion of the revised SOPs.

“It’s about done. I’ll let you know,” Arganbright replied.

Arganbright estimated the revisions are likely to be completed and reviewed within one month.

Dickson then asked about a concern regarding cameras in the jail. Arganbright explained that the dispatchers asked that they not be on camera while sitting at the desk for the duration of the eight-hour shift.

“They have it blacked out for their body. The rest is all seen. They asked me if I can do that, just for personal private reasons, and I said yes. So they don’t want upstairs jailers just watching everything they do,” said Arganbright. “It makes them feel uncomfortable.”

Arganbright explained that he made the change at the request of the dispatchers, but that, as now arranged, the cameras show the dispatchers anytime they move from the desk seat.

Dickson shared his opinion that the blacked-out portion should be visible.

“I don’t have a problem either way,” Arganbright said.

Arganbright welcomed the supervisors to speak directly with the dispatchers to hear their viewpoint. Supervisor Maggie Armstrong indicated she would like to check the applicable policy and hear from the dispatchers.

“There seems to be more to the story,” Armstrong said.

No board action was taken on the issue.

The supervisors and County Engineer Josh Sebern discussed possible budgetary amendments in his department. Supervisor Steve Smith pointed out that budget amendments are to be expected.

“A budget is a budget. You are never going to land squarely on exactly what it should be,” Smith said. “So you are going to have budget amendments.”

The next regular meeting of the supervisors will be Tuesday, April 30. The public is welcome. Attendees may participate in person or by calling 323-792-6123 and inputting conference ID 547029216#.