Clark County sheriff, deputy and dispatcher unexpectedly resigning

Local

DUBOIS – A major shakeup is happening in the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff John Clements, along with one deputy and one dispatcher, are resigning. Clement’s resignation is effective Thursday at midnight, and the other two will leave around the same time.

Clements, who was elected in 2020, tells EastIdahoNews.com the reason he’s stepping down has “a lot to do with the economy and the perception of law enforcement.”

“No one wants to apply because it’s not the pristine job. With inflation, the counties — even the big counties — can’t keep up in terms of pay, benefits, and anything that would make someone want to work for you,” Clements says.

As a result, Clements says the sheriff’s office is “understaffed and outnumbered,” and they’re being asked to take on more responsibilities.

Clements says this issue isn’t unique to Clark County, explaining other counties across the state are having similar struggles with employee retention. It’s not fair for law enforcement to be asked to do more without any financial support, he says.

Still, Clements says he’s proud to have served as sheriff for nearly two years.

“Keeping the sheriff’s office going in these times (is my proudest accomplishment),” he says.

Clements served as chief deputy to Bart May, the previous sheriff, who retired in 2020 after 30 years in law enforcement.

Clements will be taking a new job as a deputy in Teton County.

“I know the sheriff there, and I really respect him,” Clements says.

With Clements and two employees leaving, this will leave the sheriff’s office with only one chief deputy, who graduates from POST on Dec. 9, and four full-time dispatchers. Without any law enforcement leadership, it falls upon the county to find a replacement to finish the rest of Clement’s term, which is up for re-election in 2024.

EastIdahoNews.com reached out to every member of the Clark County Commission multiple times for comment about the appointment process and how law enforcement duties will be handled in the interim. None of them responded.

Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson says they will fill the immediate law enforcement need in Clark County.

“I’ve sent my staff sergeant to run their operation until they can get a sheriff in place,” Anderson says.

Bonneville, Bingham and Madison counties, along with the Idaho State Police, will also be assisting as needed.

Clark County Clerk Camille Messick explains the local Republican Central Committee is now accepting applications for the position of sheriff. As of Wednesday morning, two candidates have applied. The committee will interview the applicants on Friday evening and submit it to the commissioners for approval.

The commission will have 15 days to appoint a new sheriff. It will be the new sheriff’s responsibility to hire a new deputy and dispatcher.

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