**Update April 25, 2012** A small piece was written on this in the Idaho Statesman Tuesday afternoon. In the article the Sheriff “digs” a deeper hole for himself by claiming that SSS in this case means “safety, security and survival.” Yes, I get that exact impression seeing this man holding a shovel, a gun, and a gun rack that has an image of a “hunter” aiming at a howling wolf. Shouldn’t honesty be a requirement for a law enforcement official? Keep up the pressure.
For 14 years I worked as a 911 dispatcher for a municipal police department until our dispatch center was closed in 2011. Although I knew of many unethical activities within the law enforcement community, I never witnessed open advocating for breaking the law. It seems that a sheriff’s department in Idaho does not share those same ethics.
Yesterday, fellow wildlife advocates posted a link to the Facebook page belonging to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Department in Idaho. Included among the various postings were photographs showing the County Sheriff posing with a rifle, a shovel, and a gun rack that reads “Idaho County Sheriff 308 SSS Wolf Pack” showing a “hunter” taking aim at a howling wolf. Apparently these items were being raffled by the department for a fundraiser in early 2011.
For anyone not familiar with the term “SSS” it is a wolf hater acronym that stands for “Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up.” This is the mantra of the modern day wolf hating poacher. In other words it means to shoot a wolf, bury it, and don’t say a word to anyone about it. How classy. An agency that is sworn to uphold the rule of law advocating and providing tools for poaching an animal that was still under federal protection at the time. Here are the links to the photographs and contact information for this agency:
The County Sheriff in the photograph:
Sheriff Doug Giddings
320 West Main Street
Grangeville, ID 83530
The “mission statement” of this agency:
“The mission of the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office is to uphold the law fairly and firmly; to prevent crime; to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law; to perform our statutory duties; to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and of the State of Idaho; to protect, help and reassure the community; and to be seen to do all this with integrity, common sense and sound judgment.
We must be compassionate, courteous and patient, acting without fear or favor or prejudice to the rights of others. We must be professional, calm and restrained in the face of violence and apply only that force which is necessary to accomplish our lawful duty.
We shall strive to reduce the fears of the public and, so far as we can, to reflect their priorities in the actions we take. We must respond to well founded criticism with a willingness to change.”
That last sentence says it all. Let’s see how well they respond to criticism and what their willingness to change really is. Advocating poaching is not upholding the law, and for a law enforcement agency to so brazenly publicize this is clearly unacceptable. Jobs need to be lost over this.