BEND, OR -- In his bid to be Sheriff of Deschutes County, Deputy Eric Kozowski has repeatedly said he would improve efficiency and service delivery at the Sheriff's Office. However, according to productivity statistics obtained by KBND News through a public records request, Kozowski consistently ranks among the lowest performing deputies, most notably in the past nine months.
The agency compiles quarterly statistics for its four patrol teams, which show Kozowski had 54 self-initiated calls in the second quarter of this year; that's the lowest of the team, behind the commander. His team's per-deputy average was 116.9 self-initiated incidents. Patrol Lt. Ty Rupert tells KBND News that three-month stat includes traffic stops. "He had seven traffic stops in the timeframe of April to June 2016, compared to another deputy on his team that had 157 traffic stops; another deputy on his team had 77. The average traffic stops were 55.56 for the team, during that same time period." In the first quarter (Jan.-Dec.) of 2016, Kozowski self-initiated 72 calls, compared to his team's quarterly average of 120.3. In both quarters, Kozowski's team had the lowest average among the four patrol teams at the agency.
In the fourth quarter of last year, from October to December, Kozowski handled 51 self-initiated calls, compared to his team's average of 143.
At a recent debate, Kozowski defended his low numbers, saying, "A lot of deputies are going call to call, don’t have time for self-initiated statistics. Often times, I’ve had 12-hour shifts where ten of that is I’m on dispatched calls." The report shows that in the second quarter (April-June 2016), he had a below average number of dispatched calls, as well. According to the Sheriff's Office, Kozowski is typically assigned to one of the busiest districts in the county. He logged 126 dispatched calls during Q2, while his team's average was 132.4.
Lt. Rupert says there are acceptable reasons for putting up low numbers. "If I have a deputy that has low stats, potentially it could be that they had a recruit with them- if they’re a training officer. Other reasons for low stats could be if a deputy was hurt and on light duty, or on vacation for an extended period of time, or sick." Deputy Kozowski is not a training officer; and, as far as Lt. Rupert was aware, he was not off-duty for an extended period.
Deputies are not required to answer a specific number of calls, according to Lt. Rupert. "Long-standing, I think it’s been a perception of the public that law enforcement agencies have quotas. And, that’s not true – we don’t have quotas," He says. "We don’t have expectations of requiring a deputy to go out and write a certain number of traffic citations or stop a certain number of cars. That’s at the deputy’s discretion." But, he admits supervisors expect deputies will perform at a certain level, based on which district they work and the time of year.