Sheriff files to run in June


For The Madera Tribune

Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue fills out paperwork to begin his election run for the Sheriff position.

 

Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue formally filed his paperwork to run for the office of Sheriff in the June primary.


Pogue, who was appointed Sheriff after former Sheriff Jay Varney resigned to become Madera County’s Chief Administrative Officer, has climbed the ranks throughout the Madera County Sheriff’s department.


He began working with the Madera County Sheriff’s Department in 2001 after graduating from the Fresno Police Academy while working as a paginator with The Madera Tribune.


He was hired by then-Sheriff John Anderson and it was Anderson’s wife that got Pogue interested in law enforcement.


“She would talk about all the things he did,” Pogue said in an interview in 2019. “It kind of got me interested. It sounded like an exciting life. She always spoke so highly of him. It seemed like a well-respected career. I think that’s what got me hooked on it from the beginning.”


Pogue, who is a graduate of Yosemite High School in Oakhurst, quickly worked his way through the ranks of the Madera County Sheriff’s Department becoming a K-9 officer, a sergeant, then a lieutenant. Then, he was named Varney’s Undersheriff and became the Sheriff after Varney’s promotion.


“If you work hard and constantly do what’s right, you will move forward,” Pogue said in a 2020 interview. “I couldn’t think of anything else. Now, this is the best job. Out of anything, I don’t think it can get better than this. I love all the people I get to work with. We have the best deputies. The guys that work here are phenomenal. Our people are great. I talk to other agencies and you hear these horror stories. I feel like we’re lucky that we don’t have those.”


Sheriff Pogue said he made the decision to run after much thought and deliberation with his family and close friends. He remarked that though a lot has been accomplished over the past couple years, there is still a lot to be done.


“I have served, and will continue to serve, Madera County because I believe in Madera County,” Pogue said at his swearing-in ceremony in 2020. “Being a deputy sheriff has never been just a job for me. Being a Madera County deputy sheriff was about providing a service to the community where I grew up, a community that I love and a community in which I am now raising my own family. I have a vested interest in doing what’s best for Madera County.”


Sheriff Pogue said one of the most challenging times of his career was less than three months after being appointed Sheriff. It was at that time Creek Fire raged through the County, forcing major evacuations and devastation. Despite being the fastest and largest non-complex fire of its time, no lives were lost, and there were no reports of looting or evacuation-related theft.

Sheriff Pogue said the accomplishment he is most proud of was successfully merging the Madera County Department of Corrections with the Sheriff’s Office last year after 44 years of separation.


“It was a culmination of factors,” said Pogue after the reunification in June, 2020. “No. 1, it is the best practice of the county jail to be run by the sheriff. It’s one of the main functions of a county sheriff. To have a law enforcement-type department run by the Board of Supervisors is not in the best practice. We were looking at what is best for law enforcement, rehabilitation and housing of custodial inmates. As Madera County continues to expand, as well as prison reform where they are sending people to county jail rather than state prisons, Madera is housing more and more dangerous criminals or sophisticated inmates than they have had at any other point. It puts a fairly large strain on that group of people.


“Not to mention, there are a bunch of efficiency issues when you combine the two departments,” Pogue added. “For example, we are getting ready to transfer a large number of inmates from our facility to the state. It’s a fairly large transfer. That takes a significant amount of personnel to get that done. Where, before corrections would have to pull people from everywhere to get this done, we’re able to reach out and make it happen now that we’re a combined force. It comes to the growth of the county, prison reform and the increase in the sophistication of housing inmates, it was basically decided that was best for the county, inmates and employees involved.”


Sheriff Pogue said the office has made great strides in the areas of personnel, equipment and technology. He commented that since 2019 the department has been able to add 23 new deputy positions.


“We have also been able to provide deputies with more less-than-lethal options, lifesaving medial equipment, and equipment to assist in bring pursuits to a safe and successful termination,” he said.


“I am proud to say that despite the many challenges throughout the past year, we hired new employees,” Pogue said at a swearing in ceremony in June, 2021. “Some day they will be telling their grandkids about their first year as a deputy and the tumultuous time during which they started their career.”


He is also proud to mention he was able to implement on online CCW renewal process to make filing and renewing CCW’s more streamlined.


In looking at the future, Sheriff Pogue said his goals for the next four years is to continue to increase staffing to put more deputies into the streets and neighborhoods, find successful ways to improve the many issues with the unhoused, move to a full take home vehicle program, and start a citizen’s academy.


Sheriff Pogue said one of his favorite aspects of the job is having the authority and ability to positively impact the deputies in a meaningful way.


“I truly enjoy serving the community where I grew up and now live, as well as having the opportunity to support the deputies who risk their lives to keep our families and the community safe.”


In closing Sheriff Pogue said, “I commit to you that as your Sheriff, I will continue to serve this great community by placing public safety first, by protecting your constitutional rights, and by being efficient and innovative.”