I was able to conduct an interview recently with the President of the KCDSA by the name of Nate Ferrier and his Vice president Cole Souza. Both senior deputies were friendly and easy to talk to. We sat in Deputy Ferrier’s office and chatted about their jobs and what they do for our community. We touched on some tougher subjects and how they were doing overall.
We began with introductions as Senior Deputy Ferrier sat to my right and Senior Deputy Souza to my left. After a brief explanation of my interview process our conversation began. I asked what their names and job titles were to which Senior Deputy Ferrier replied that he is the president of the Kings County Deputy Sheriffs Association and a senior deputy with the department. He fields emails and call and takes care of ordering equipment
Deputy Souza explained that he is currently the Administrative Senior Deputy of the department. He is responsible for administering back ground checks on all prospective new deputies, CCW or concealed weapon’s permits as well as paperwork and dealing with patrol cars that need repairs.
The conversation shifted to what programs are available to the public from the Kings County Sheriff’s Department. Ride-alongs in the patrol cars and the Explorer’s program for kids are two ways individuals, interested in learning about what law enforcement is all about, can interact with a local law enforcement agency.
Senior Deputy Nate Ferrier has been the president of the Kings County Deputy Sheriff’s Association for two years. In that time he started a Facebook to help put the work of our deputies in a reachable platform. As Senior Deputy Ferrier put it perfectly, “Law enforcement has notoriously been bad at controlling the narrative, too busy doing their jobs. The narrative gets controlled by politicians and the media.”
As recent turmoil has been all over the news, regarding law enforcement, I asked how the two gentlemen felt about it. Senior Deputy Ferrier stated it upset him and made him angry, going further to say “We don’t get in this job to hurt people. We get in this job to help people. Most of the cops I know are good people”
Turning the question to Senior Deputy Souza, he said “It’s hard not to get frustrated, especially when our elected officials seem to turn their backs on us and the media paints us as the bad guys.” They both were feeling significantly upset over the recent news stories surrounding anti-police protesting and overall demonizing by the media.
I asked the two senior deputies what their average work day looked like to give some insight into the administrative side of law enforcement. Senior Deputy Ferrier started by mentioning how he arrives to work early in the morning. He said “I wear many hats” to describe the multitude of job responsibilities he has.
Senior Deputy Ferrier is the president of the association, which advocates for the deputies of the Kings County Sheriff’s Department. He takes care of his fellow deputies by talking to them and making sure they have the tools they need to work safely. He also has his regular job with the sheriff’s office as a senior deputy. He is the assistant public relations officer for the agency as well, helping to manage the social media for King’s County Sheriff’s Department.
He mentioned that his core responsibility was proofing reports to get them to the District Attorney’s office. I handles subpoenas for the deputies and staff of the department. As previously mentioned, he handles ordering equipment for the deputies on the streets. “My day usually has a plan, but one email or phone call can derail it.” Senior Deputy Ferrier explained. As with all aspects of law enforcement, even the administrative side is unpredictable.
Senior Deputy Souza stated “I’ve got my hands in a little bit of everything. Like Nate said, one email and your day goes in a completely different direction.” His core responsibilities are back ground checks of potential employees of the department, securing new equipment, seeing to the repairs of patrol cars and handling concealed weapons permits for citizens of the county.
I asked Senior Deputy Ferrier to share any personal accomplishments that he is proud of since becoming president of the association. He spoke of the dedication of a portion of highway 41 to Allen Sharra, a deputy killed in the line of duty in 1999, done in December of 2019. He said it took a year to finish the project and that there was a ceremony in Lemoore Ca, to commemorate it’s completion. You can find a video of the ceremony here.
In light of the recent political turmoil surrounding anti-police protests, I thought it important to ask about the community response that our deputies have received. Senior Deputy Ferrier stated “Our local response has been incredible. In the larger cities you aren’t seeing that right now. we’re lucky here.” Many organizations have purchased food to donate to the King’s County Sheriff’s Office. Recently a citizen dropped off boxes of goodie bags for the patrolling deputies.
I asked both gentlemen if they had anything else to add that they felt was important for you, the reader, to consider. Senior Deputy Ferrier sat for a moment before speaking.
“From the association side, I want the public to keep track and educate themselves on voting. It’s so important to do that and they should be involved. Citizens should contact local officials when they see something they don’t like, or things they think need to happen and aren’t. Be vocal and express your concerns, but don’t just blindly vote.”
Senior Deputy Souza added ” It’s the repercussions of some of these newer laws that from what we can tell seem to have a direct link to an increase of homelessness and criminal activity. Our calls for service have been higher in volume. In our neighboring county over fifty percent of calls for service are being eaten up by homeless related calls. A large majority being early released prisoners re-victimizing citizens. We had the power prior to these laws to arrest and jail re-offenders and now we have had that ability stripped from us. These laws have really affected our ability as law enforcement to do our job effectively and keep our communities safe.”
I asked Senior Deputy Ferrier how he would change policy if he could to better serve our community. He responded “I’d go back to being tougher on crime. Like it was prior to 2011, when we had the ability to arrest and jail re-offenders. It feels as though law after law is pro-criminal and pro-crime. Making it harder for us to do our jobs.”
Senior Deputy Souza answered “I’ll piggy-back off of that. We’re having guys we arrest on a near daily basis out with in a few hours. When prior to these laws we could arrest and send criminals to prison for lengthy sentences fit for the crimes committed.”
COVID-19 really has affected all aspects of life across the board. Both gentlemen expressed the strain it has put on them and how difficult it has been mentally. With Senior Deputy Ferrier saying “I can’t say one good thing about this whole COVID mess.” To which Senior Deputy Souza followed with “It’s been miserable.”
We talked candidly for a moment about how this pandemic has been for each of us on a personally level. I expressed my concerns as a mother of two small children, one of which was born prematurely and how that fear has made simple tasks like shopping terrifying. I wanted to ask them how they were doing because they are human just like the rest of us and they deserved to have their voices heard.
Moving on from that somber moment I asked how Senior Deputy Ferrier runs his office. He replied that mostly it’s computer work and phone calls, but that regularly he has visitors who come by through out the day. He mentioned that the visitors in part come from being an association guy.
Upon my inquiry of a shining star within the department, Senior Deputy Ferrier stated “All our guys and girls do amazingly at their jobs.” However, he did give me the name of a recent Class B Commendation recipient, a deputy by the name of James Coghlan. He saved two lives in our community by implementing his training with a quick response time and with his dedication to our community’s safety.
I asked both senior deputies what their favorite part of the job is. Senior Deputy Ferrier cracked a joke first but then answered that he loves being the president of the KCDSA. He loves getting into the politics of this job giving him an avenue to accomplish things. He recently was given the suggestion to get an ice maker for the office and was able to procure one through his work as the president of the association.
Senior Deputy Souza added to that by saying ” I enjoy making things better.” The association just signed a contract with the county and started a political action comity recently. They have a logo now and sell merchandise as well. The Sheriff’s Department is able to utilize security footage across the county to better manage the safety of the deputies as they patrol.
As our conversation came to its end I asked what they enjoyed most about their job. Senior Deouty Souza said ” The camaraderie with fellow deputies is amazing. You make some great relationships with people in this profession you wouldn’t normally, It’s a fairly tight knit group of people we work with. We get along pretty darn good.” Senior Deputy Ferrier added to that by saying ” It’s odd because most cops are type A personalities and often butt heads. We don’t really see that here generally speaking.”
This conversation was enlightening and gave me a better perspective on how the administrative side of law enforcement really works. Both senior deputies were pleasant to speak with and I enjoyed their candid approach to this interview. Law enforcement officers are humans too and deserve the respect that comes from human decency. In King’s County our law enforcement agencies are full of good apples.