Mar 04

February 2018

Posted on March 4, 2018 at 7:22 PM by Craig Johnson

           A recent national survey of the incidence and prevalence of children’s exposure to violence and trauma revealed that 60% of American children have been exposed to violence, crime or abuse.  Forty percent were direct victims of two or more violent acts.  Prolonged exposure to violence and trauma can seriously undermine children’s ability to focus, behave appropriately, and learn.  It often leads to school failure, truancy, suspension or expulsion, dropping out, or involvement in the juvenile justice system.

           At our office my Chief Deputy, Steve Holst, recently attended a training titled, ”Handle with Care”.  Handle with care is simply a program in which law enforcement provides notice to the schools in their jurisdiction when there has been a traumatic event during which a child has been present.  This could be a meth lab explosion, a domestic violence situation, motor vehicle accident, a drug raid search warrant at a home, etc.  Law Enforcement is trained to identify children at the scene, find out where they go to school or daycare and send the school/agency a confidential email or fax that simply says….”Handle Johnny with care”.  That’s it.  No other details.  This notice would let the schools know to give the affected children some extra attention if needed.

I also attended a meeting recently with area law enforcement officers and school officials where we discussed the juvenile referral process with Juvenile Court Services.  This was a productive meeting with good discussions on a variety of topics.  In Clayton County most of our schools have a police department that has very good interaction with the faculty and students.  Most of your police departments know the names of all the students and gain relationships with students by interacting on a regular basis.  This also helps promotes perceptions of officers.  At the sheriff’s office, we don’t often get this opportunity, but do get some interaction with K-9 demonstrations or assisting in other programs.  Law enforcement agencies and schools need to work closer together in this day and age to give our children or grandchildren the best opportunities for their future and assist them when they have emotional problems that could turn into behavioral problems.    

If you have any questions, or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi


Mar 04

January 2018

Posted on March 4, 2018 at 7:21 PM by Craig Johnson

Lately at the sheriff’s office, we have been receiving many phone calls about scams.   I have been receiving some phone calls on my cell phone lately that shows it to be coming from a local cell phone number, but when I answer, it is from out of the area and a recording.  Don’t rely on caller ID to verify who is calling.  Scammers can use fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they are someone local, you trust, or a company you do business with.  I recently had a citizen call me stating they had received a call from my cell number and I had not called them.  Last year I was receiving phone calls from a number that showed it was one of my deputies calling me and when I answered, it was a recording for a lower interest rate on my credit card.

          One of the scams going on in our area right now is the Imposter Scams.  When you receive a call and the caller states that they are someone else, like your grandson or relative.  They state your relative is in jail and needs money to bond out.  It is the scammer trying to scare you into sending money.  Scammers can search the internet for people they are calling and look up information about you to find out who you are related to.  They will use that information to try to get you convinced to send money.  Scammers sometimes pretend to be government officials to get you to send them money.  They might promise lottery winnings if you pay “taxes” or other fees, or they might threaten you with arrest or lawsuit if you don’t pay a supposed debt.  Regardless of their tactics, their goal is the same: to get you to send them money.  We’ve had a lot of these scams going on in the area lately.  In fact one of my deputies just received one threatening to throw him in jail.


-      If you get a strange call from the government, hang up.  If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information.  Government employees won’t call out of the blue to demand money or account information.

-      Don’t give out, or confirm, your personal or financial information to someone who calls.

-      Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card.  In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.

-      Feeling pressured to act immediately?  Hang up.  That’s a sure sign of a scam. 

Put all your phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. (  If you still get calls they are probably from scammers ignoring the law.  Hang up, and report them at the same web address.  If you suffer a loss from a scam, don’t be embarrassed to call us to report it.  We will document it and try our best to identify the perpetrator and do what we can to help you.      

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi


Jan 01

December 2017

Posted on January 1, 2018 at 5:52 PM by Craig Johnson

Last month I talked about opioids, their abuse, and the proactive approach we are taking to combat it.  This month I would like go a step further to remind folks about our Drug Drop Box located in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office. 

About a year ago, we were given a Drug Drop Box from the Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy in relation to a program called Iowa Take Back.  The Drop Box is a mailbox set up at our office, which provides a secure and confidential community option for disposing of unneeded medicines.  The Iowa Take Back program is designed primarily to collect controlled prescription drugs or those medicines classified as having a higher potential for abuse because they pose a greater threat to the health and safety of Iowans.  We do take all prescription medications.  However, we do not take needles.

We do have a sharps container here for inmates, some of those recently became full, and I had a similar question, what do we do with the needles?  We were able to contact a local hospital that took them but after looking into it, there are some other options.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each year 8 million people across the country use more than 3 billion needles.  Sharps must be properly managed to prevent injury by unintentional sticks or disease transmission.  People at the greatest risk of being stuck by used sharps include sanitation and sewage treatment workers, janitors, housekeepers, and children.

In Iowa, it is currently legal to place used sharps in a lidded, rigid container, into the garbage; however, this method is highly discouraged due to the health risk posed to the public.  If no other disposal option is available, place used sharps in a red sharps container or in a lidded, rigid container such as a bleach bottle or detergent bottle and follow these instructions;

Label the empty detergent container “Do Not Recycle:  “Household Sharps”

Put needles in point-first into the container

Dispose of container when it is half-full of sharps

Keep container capped and you may even tape it shut to prevent spills

I would recommend if you have sharps, you should first contact your solid waste agency to find out what is recommended.  There are also mail-back programs that allow you to mail your used sharps to a licensed disposal facility.  For a list of providers, visit the Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal at 

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi