Dec 04

November 2018

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 12:37 AM by Craig Johnson

              “What’s New in County 22?”

This month I would like to give you a few tips I have mentioned before on winter driving.  We just missed a big snowstorm but I am sure our turn will be coming soon.  Please drive safely.

  Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.  This is important if it is snowing and drive a white or lighter colored vehicle.  The same is true on a gray vehicle on a paved road or a tan vehicle on a gravel road.  It may become camouflaged with the road color so turn your lights on.   
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.  This includes taillights that seem to collect dirt and snow when you drive a distance. 
  5. Do not use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  6. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  7. Try not to pass snowplows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you are likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.

If you do pass a snowplow, be sure that you have a clear vision ahead of you before passing.  Allow plenty of room when passing, and do not cut in too quickly.  On two lane roads, snowplow drivers will periodically pull over to let vehicles pass. 

  1. Do not assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
  2. Make yourself a winter driving kit.  Jumper cables, flashlight, extra clothing or blanket and cell phone charger are just a few ideas.

10. If you see emergency lights ahead, please give them a brake and slow down.  Police/Fire/EMS may be standing along the road assisting another driver who went into the ditch.

11. If you go into the ditch, please give us a call either way.  We need to know if you need assistance and even if you do not.  That will allow us to know everyone is safe and we will not have to come looking for you after you got a ride.  We may even have your vehicle towed not knowing you had other plans or a different wrecker operator you want to use to get it out.        

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at mtschirgi@claytoncountyia.gov, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi

         

Dec 04

October 2018

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 12:37 AM by Craig Johnson

         “What’s New in County 22?”

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce we have purchased a speed trailer with the assistance of the GTSB (Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau) grant, used from implementing our STEP wave (Safety Traffic Enforcement Program) programs throughout our area.  Most of the city police departments in Clayton County already have these.  Speed trailers can be used to slow vehicles down in certain areas while keeping manpower free to answer other calls.  The speed trailer we have will be used to let drivers know what the speed limit is and how fast they are going.  It also stores data for us to determine what days and times are most violated so we can have a patrol vehicle there at those future days and times to issue tickets. We currently have areas of speeding complaints we plan to use the trailer on.  If you believe you have an area you would like a speed trailer at, please give us a call. 

          One complaint I hear a lot about this time of year are about people trespassing on other people’s property.  Whether they are hunting, fishing, looking for ginseng, or just on your property for no reason.  One thing you can do to help prevent this is to put up No trespassing signs.  If a No trespassing sign is not up, it still doesn’t mean a person can’t be charged.  However, it may help to deter them from entering or coming up with an excuse they did not know where the property line was.  Another big help to us is to hide a trail camera somewhere.  I cannot say enough how effective these cameras are.   Many people have come to us to help identify individuals they have seen on their deer or trail cameras.  We use them all the time.  If you do not have a camera, we have a few at the office and can possibly help you out.  Please use them and contact us or get a hold of your local DNR Officer if you have a problem with trespassers.  

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at mtschirgi@claytoncountyia.gov, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi

         

Dec 04

September 2018

Posted on December 4, 2018 at 12:36 AM by Craig Johnson


“What’s New in County 22?”

            My heart goes out to the families of Mollie Tibbetts and Celia Barquiin Arozamena.  Two college students from the State of Iowa recently and selfishly taken from us.  I know this is a hot topic with new students recently going to college for the first time this year so in my article this month I would like to give you some ideas or suggestions on what do if you are running, or even biking, walking or just enjoying the outdoors.  I found most of these tips on the internet but have a few I use myself. 

Share Your Itinerary:  Whenever I go out hunting, I tell my wife where I am going even if I know it is not a dangerous climb into a tree stand.  Since she does not know the nicknames of the landmarks where I hunt, I usually tell her to call a friend of mine that knows which area or stand I am going to be in and what time I should return.  If you are running or walking in town, let someone know what time you are going and about when you should be back.  If you do not know the street names, tell them the best route you are going, like by John Doe’s house, around the school, by the park and home, etc.

Mix it up:  Try to change up your routes as much as possible.  Following the same routes every day makes it easier for stalkers to target you.  If you cannot change your route, change the times you go, so you are not so predictable. 

Run in the daylight:  Studies show that it is much safer for women to jog or walk when it is light out.  It is less likely that attackers will try anything in the daylight.  If you want to go on nature trails or jog in secluded areas, make sure to take other people with you.

Carry a cellphone:  Always carry a cell phone with you and make sure it is easily accessible and fully charged so you can contact someone if you need to.  You might even need it if you sprain an ankle or obtain an injury.  If you do not have a cell phone carry a whistle or alarm.

Limit the Music:  Good music can inspire you to push yourself a little harder but music can also shut out the noises around you.  Try using one headphone instead of two so you can still hear what is going on around you.  This would also be helpful if a motorist is honking to get your attention.

Carry Pepper Spray or Mace:  A lot of people think only cops carry this but you can buy it at any outdoor store like Cabela’s.  Hunters use it for bears and it is not that expensive.  They also make some that are attached to key chains for easy access.

Do not Run Alone:  There is safety in numbers so it is good to go in pairs or more.  If possible, take a dog with you.

Stay Alert:  Try to be aware of what is going on around you.  Use your eyes, ears and intuition to warn yourself of possible danger or suspicious behavior.  If you have any suspicion of anything unusual, give us a call or at least tell someone else about it. 

Take A Self Defense Class:  One of the most important elements of taking a self-defense class if the confidence building as well as the verbal and physical protection skills.  Sgt. Brent Ostrander is a defensive tactics instructor and has training in self-defense.  He is willing to teach self-defense for groups of people interested.  Please contact our office and ask for him if you would like to set something up.

          By writing this article, I am not trying to scare anyone or hinder your outdoor activities.  I believe we live in a safe community, but taking extra precaution cannot hurt anyone and is not a bad practice to use as you grow old or pass onto your children.             

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at mtschirgi@claytoncountyia.gov, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi