Jun 05

May 2017

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 6:50 PM by Craig Johnson

This month in my article I would like to touch base a little bit about the Mannequin Challenge.  I believe most of the local papers are doing their own article on this but the 5C Coalition (Clayton County Community Collaboration Council) spent the last three months putting together a Mannequin Challenge for Clayton County.  The 5C is a group of community members located in Clayton County working together to encourage awareness surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs that prevent community members from living their lives to the fullest.  Participants are from every community and town in our county. 

A mannequin challenge is viral Internet video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them, usually with a song playing in the background.  The challenge also depicts a story and in the 5C video a story of underage kids drinking alcohol followed by a car wreck and fatality.  I encourage you all to please take a look at it.  It already has 852,000 hits on the 5C Facebook page and 32,000 hits on You Tube.  You can view this video at You Tube by searching;   “Party your life away mannequin challenge”  If you have questions or may be interested in the 5C program please look at their website at; www.claytoncountycccweebly.com

This week my department is participating in their annual spring firearms qualification.  We have a use of force policy in place at the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office.  All such training will include, but not be limited to, a review of our department policy on the use of deadly force, legal requirements, moral responsibilities of carrying a firearms and firearm safety.  In addition each member must demonstrate proficiency with any firearms to be used by that member before certification.  According to state code deputies must shoot 80% efficiency once a year.  This office offers a spring and fall qualification and training course to keep our officers efficient.  Firearms include their sidearm pistols, some shotguns, and rifles.  We do offer other yearly trainings for Taser, defensive tactics, chemical munitions, ASP etc.

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


Apr 30

April 2017

Posted on April 30, 2017 at 10:24 PM by Craig Johnson

This month in my article I would like to touch base on the new UTV ordinance the Board of Supervisors recently approved.  It seems that all the surrounding counties are following suit and allowing UTV units to operate on the county roadways.  The county ordinance has laid out rules you have to follow if you plan on riding your UTV on the roadways.  Please follow these rules.  I am a UTV rider and do not want to see people violating these rules and ruining it for the rest of us.  I saw this first hand last year in Allamakee County and other UTV drivers approached the ones misbehaving and spoke to them about it.  If you do not follow the rules we will be issuing you a citation.  There is currently one restricted area.  You cannot ride any UTV on the Clayton Rd. from the Garnavillo City limits to 232nd St. due to heavy truck traffic.  If you haven’t seen the ordinance, please review it which is posted on the County website www.claytoncountyia.gov  Ordinance #1-2017.  This is currently on the front of the web page.  If you have a problem with people on UTV’s please get the best description of the UTV and give us a call with your complaint.  We do have a UTV here and access to some others to assist in patrol if it is necessary.

          I was recently at a traffic accident assisting in directing traffic.  Our officers are trained on how to effectively, efficiently, and safely direct traffic at an accident scene.  We need to work in unison to ensure passing motorists and people at the scene are safe.  In order to do this we need your assistance. 

When approaching an accident you should pay attention to the closest officer near you and make eye contact, as we may be looking beyond you to see what other vehicles are approaching the scene.  Don’t proceed unless he motions you to do so.  The officer should be wearing an OSHA approved safety vest in bright colors.  Watch his posture and arm motions.  The officer may have a flashlight with an orange cone.  Try not to pay attention to the detail of what happened at the accident but keep alert in case a vehicle in front of you suddenly brakes. 

If you need to turn at that intersection please put on your turn signals ahead of time.  There is nothing more frustrating for us than planning on a vehicle coming forward and at the last minute they turn on their signal light for us.  Also if a turning lane is blocked, we may be motioning for you to turn in a different direction.  Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you can go the direction you want to.  If we could send you that way we would.  One last thing I would like to point out is speed.  Please slow down.  Some cars coming from a distance that see us motioning for them to go ahead, drive by us at a speed we would call unsafe and too fast.  Please pay attention and drive safe. 

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


Apr 04

March 2017

Posted on April 4, 2017 at 3:34 AM by Craig Johnson

Spring is in the air and it is time for some spring safety tips.  I hate to sound redundant and I’ve addressed these safety tips before in my articles but I would like to express them again.  Last month I spoke about fog but these are a few other topics I would like to touch on. 

I have to at least mention to safely drive on our roads with the farmers itching to get into the fields in the next few weeks.  I have to believe when it warms up a little more there will be field work to do and you will see more farmers going to and from fields by roadway.  Please pay closer attention of slower traffic on the roadways and do not pass at an intersection.  Wait to pass until there is a clear vision of no oncoming vehicles. Let’s give the farmers a brake and be patient.  They are out there trying to make a living.

     Over the last few weeks we have had a few complaints on school bus violations.  I have spoken about this in the past but I would like readdress some pointers.  If someone passes a stopped school bus, the driver of the school bus is required by law to report this to law enforcement.  They have a special form they fill out and give to us.  The driver reports the description of the motor vehicle and its occupants along with a license plate if one is obtained.  If you are at a school bus stop and see this happen, please do the same and document all the information you saw and report it to your local law enforcement authorities.  We then turn around and are required by law to issue a citation to the driver of the vehicle that made the violation.  

          Please do not text and drive.  Do not look at Snap chat, Facebook, or any other social messaging apps on your phone or what your phone alerts you to while going down the road.  The place to do that is at home or please just park along the road.  It is not worth causing or getting involved in an accident because of this.  If it is too tempting, shut your phone off while you drive.  I do know some people that do this.  Even answering a phone call can be distractive enough to cause a wreck.

          And last but not least watch for deer.  This is not the “deer rut” season and you would not think deer would be moving, but with the farmers moving to the fields, they may be pushing them around.  A group of us just drove back from Oklahoma last week.  13 ½ hour drive with no problems until I got to Clayton County Iowa and had to brake three times for deer standing along the road. 

          Please use caution and let’s have a safe spring!             

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