PALO VERDE, Calif. – During an interview this week, Imperial County Sheriff Ray Loera told Palo Verde residents that it was impossible to give the unincorporated town a full-time resident deputy.
“Financially it is impossible to keep a full time deputy 24 hours a day. Not only is it a matter of wages, but there are many other things to consider – insurance, housing and the lack of enough deputies for the entire county,” said Loera.
The sheriff is responsible for 4,500 sq miles in the county with Palo Verde in the north part of the county; the closest largest town in Imperial County is Winterhaven and according to the sheriff Winterhaven’s office keeps a close eye on the small town.
“There are only 78 sworn deputies for the entire county,” said Loera.
Sheriff Loera said he will see that Palo Verde has law enforcement protection and encourages all residents to call him at any time if there is a problem.
“I believe Palo Verde has been fortunate that hey have had little crime. The residents seem to watch over one another,” he said.
However, he is concerned about the traffic speeding through town and will do all he can to correct that situation.
“It is not like some years back when deputies could have a more personal connection with residents,” said Loera. “Now it’s all about going strictly with the law.”
Many remember years ago, when deputies like Paul Menta and Emery Spencer would take residents home if they drank too much, also the deputies would let people take care of their own fights. With many people suing for almost anything, deputies can no longer have this close contact with those that break the law.
Despite the news delivered, Loera said he was pleased with his reception from residents.