Ever wondered what it’s like to work in a jail? Hear from Deputy Dion Lagunas, who joined the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office in July 2016 as a detention deputy.
Q: What was the training process like?
A: It’s very structured. There are five two-week phases of training. Then you have the 8-week booking training. Uniform deputies have an additional 8-weeks of training in the field they have to complete. It gives you all the tools you need to be successful in this career. I was a little nervous coming into the job because I didn’t know any of the court lingo or processes, so that was kind of confusing at first, but you pick it up pretty quickly.
Q: What’s the best thing about this job?
A: The benefits. Not all of the young people who come into this job understand how great the benefits they’re getting are. Aside from the military, this is the best place I’ve worked for benefits. Time off, medical, dental, vision, the best you can get. For example, my ex-wife works for the state so we have similar insurance. When our daughter got married and pregnant, we decided to keep her on my insurance since it paid for the delivery, but my ex-wife’s insurance didn’t. That surprised me. Another example is when I got into a motorcycle accident, I only had to pay $1,400 of about $100,000 in bills. That makes a huge difference.
Q: Where do you see yourself going in your current role?
A: I pretty much plan on retiring here. I see this as a career more than a job, so I’m here for the long haul. I’ve considered becoming a uniform officer and trying patrol, but I don’t know if my body can handle that anymore. We’ll see. It’s nice that there are so many opportunities for me to move up or try new things if I want.
Q: What made you want to join the Sheriff’s Office?
A: I used to drive trucks, which was good, but it kept me away from my family. So, I was looking for something that would allow me to be home more often. I always wanted to be in law enforcement, but a particular law enforcement agency. This might sound weird, but I didn’t want the title “Officer.” I wanted to be “Deputy Lagunas.” I guess I like the sheriff’s star better than the shield.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is thinking of joining the detention staff?
A: Some of the people in our custody say some awful things to the deputies. You can’t take that stuff personally. I like it here. Call me crazy, but I like coming to work, even though there are inmates who can be hostile or verbally abusive to the deputies. I understand something is going on in their lives, so I have compassion for them. But I know not to take it personally. If you can let go of what happens at work, you’re going to do fine.
The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office is currently recruiting for positions in the detention center. Please apply at bannockcounty.us/sheriff.