Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies report for annual inspection |

Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies report for annual inspection

Summit County Sheriff's Office deputy Nate Opsahl and K-9 Bobby stand at attention during Wednesday's annual inspection at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in Frisco. The dog is named after former Summit County Commissioner Bob French.
Joe Moylan / |

The staff of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office assembled Wednesday at the Community and Senior Center in Frisco for one of the more widely loathed events of the year — the agency’s annual inspection.

Deputies stood at attention in full dress next to their spotless cruisers, as Sheriff John Minor and his command staff examined vehicles for cleanliness before moving onto inspections at the agency’s various county facilities.

However, the dreaded inspection did start out on a lighter note with an all-staff breakfast in the Hoosier and Fremont rooms at the community center. Following brief speeches by Summit County Commissioners Thomas Davidson, Dan Gibbs and Karn Stiegelmeyer, Minor took the stage, imparting to his deputies words of wisdom in his dry and witty style, as he reflected on the events of the previous year.

“Who would have guessed a year ago we would have a machete attack, disrupt a methamphetamine ring or respond to a washout of Montezuma Road?” Minor said. “I’ve always enjoyed the people of Montezuma because their perceptions of law enforcement differ from my own, but you have to respect their spirit of independence.

“That spirit may have gotten rattled just a little when they got cut off from the rest of the county, but they took it in stride. Right after the road washed out, I asked the good people of Montezuma if they needed anything. They replied, ‘We need beer.’”

Undersheriff Derek Woodman soon joined Minor onstage, the two swapping stories from the past year as they awarded countless commendations to deputies in recognition of their individual bravery and heroism, completing a gut-wrenching investigation or simply for a job well done.

Some of the more notable stories appear below in this inverted edition of the Summit County police blotter.

Don’t mess with Wanda Wilkerson

In June during the early morning hours, deputy Wanda Wilkerson conducted a traffic stop at the 7-Eleven in Silverthorne. Within minutes of the stop, the driver charged Wilkerson and the fight was on.

The brawl immediately went to the ground. Wilkerson reverted to her training and stayed in the fight, eventually deploying her Taser. The driver, now agitated from being Tased, got up and ran.

Wilkerson gave chase and re-engaged the driver, taking him to the ground. Officers from Silverthorne and Dillon arrived and assisted with taking the driver into custody.

Deputies end methamphetamine ring

In early 2014, Summit County was under siege of a methamphetamine ring that was operating out of a local business in Keystone. The ring included many known local criminals, including juveniles.

In April, deputy Michael Hytrek and detectives Kris Brady and Jared Dennis combined efforts and began to assemble a criminal case against the ringleader. It was soon discovered the suspect was supplying meth to a juvenile in exchange for sex.

As a result of a series of investigations, detectives Brady and Dennis interviewed the juvenile and obtained an incriminating statement implicating the suspect in the sexual assault of a minor. The suspect was subsequently arrested and the criminal ring quickly dissolved.

Deputies save life of suicidal man transferred from detox

On April 24, Sgt. Ron Hochmuth and deputies Kathy Lambert and Brian Hyde were working in the Summit County jail when an uncooperative man was transferred from detox accompanied by four deputies.

The man displayed wide emotional swings, from lying down in the holding cell to spitting, punching and kicking incessantly at the door. The man threatened suicide multiple times, in addition to threatening staff.

The man also scratched deep wounds into his legs, causing them to bleed. Staff learned the man had recently been treated for possible methamphetamine intoxication.

Recognizing that the man might be entering a state of excited delirium, staff had emergency medical services respond and sedate the man before transporting him to the hospital for treatment.

By recognizing the possible adverse health risk the man posed, and by working as a team, the staff was able to take appropriate action that may have saved the man’s life.

Rhonda Ackerman saves woman from suicide

On May 24, deputy Rhonda Ackerman helped to control and calm a suicidal inmate who was in a holding cell. The inmate had removed her sweatshirt and was attempting to tie it around her own neck.

Acting quickly, Ackerman removed the sweatshirt and escorted the inmate to the booking area restroom to change into a suicide smock for her own protection.

While in the restroom, the inmate was calmed by Ackerman’s use of crisis intervention tactics and basic reasoning.

Summit County Sheriff’s Office Operations Division commander Capt. Jaime FitzSimons, Detention Division commander Capt. Erik “Bo” Bourgerie and public information officer Taneil Ilano contributed to this story.

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