Crime Prevention Outreach

Recently the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was asked to assist a local business in a review and assessment of their security system. The business was recently renovated, and along with that they wanted to make sure they were doing everything they could to maintain (or enhance) security measures.  After careful consideration of the layout and review of the current security system, which included video surveillance, the business was given constructive feedback.  Note to all businesses: never hesitate to contact local law enforcement to review your current security measures.  We are here to help!


It’s with great pride that I announce the promotions of Eric Pritchard to Lieutenant, and Donny Carter to Sergeant. Eric began his career as a Correctional Officer with Inyo County in 1999 and in 2000 was hired as a Deputy Sheriff, where he promoted through the ranks. Eric will serve as the Jail/Administrative Services Commander. Donny began his career with Inyo County in 2006 as a Deputy Sheriff and promoted through the ranks from there. Donny will serve as one of two Operations Sergeants for the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office. Congratulations to both!

-Sheriff Bill Lutze

Very Informative Unified Command Meeting Today!

Unified Command is a quarterly meeting, organized by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, which includes first responders and emergency managers in lnyo and Mono allied agencies, County and City of Bishop department leaders, volunteer organizations (fire departments, amateur radio, Red Cross), local Tribe leaders, Region 6 representatives (from San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office and San Diego Sheriff’s Office), as well as State representation by Cal OES, and Cal FIRE.

Today, recent (local) seismic activity was discussed by USGS, including the cluster of small earthquakes in the Mammoth area during the month of February.  The Department of Water and Power discussed current drought conditions.   As many of you know the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, acting on Governor Brown’s Proclamation of a State of Emergency regarding California’s drought, approved a Resolution Proclaiming a Local Drought Emergency.  Information for Inyo County’s drought impacted businesses and residents (including SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and USDA’s Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants) can be found at the Inyo County website:

Also on the agenda was a reminder from Cal FIRE of the current fire danger – which has been exacerbated by California’s drought conditions.  For tips on fire safety, please check out  “One less spark means one less wildfire.”

The meeting closed with a presentation by Bishop Amateur Radio Club (BARC).   BARC provides emergency communication “when everything else fails”.   The BARC group is also utilized during Inyo County’s disaster drills – we are lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers available to assist in disasters and emergencies!

-Sheriff Lutze

Career Day Brings Local Students to Sheriff’s Office

As part of a career outreach program, coordinated with the Inyo County Office of Education which includes college information provided by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and visits to various County departments, the Inyo County Jail offered tours to local high school students this week.  All tours commenced in the booking/intake area of the jail, where some of the inmate and workplace protocols were discussed; and concluded with a tour of the law library and classroom area, where inmates can take their GED or take life skills classes.  The ICJ tour is two-fold; students are able to see and hear what the responsibilities are for a career Correctional Officer at the Inyo County Jail, and they are reminded that illegal behavior has very real consequences.  The career-related trips also help high school seniors better understand local government, which ultimately helps them to become more informed citizens. This is an excellent program, and the Sheriff’s Office is grateful to provide career information to Inyo County’s young adults.

Mail Thefts

Recently Inyo County and Mono County residents have reported several mail thefts from residential mailboxes. Citizens are urged to check mail daily; if  you are planning on being out of town contact your local Post Office and request your mail be held until you return. If you have had any mail thefts please advise your local Post Office and your local Law Enforcement.

Inspection Day at the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Department held their annual ceremonial dress uniform inspection today.  The purpose of the inspection is to make sure that all uniformed members have the mandated uniform and equipment, and it also marked the introduction of the Sheriff’s awards recognition program. For the first time in the Department’s history the Sheriff now has a proprietary officer awards and recognition program.  The program consists of medals for heroic or exemplary performance; and range from the Sheriff’s Medal of Valor (the highest award), to the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Service medal.   Deputies and officers can also earn ribbons, much like what is worn in the military. These ribbons tell a story about each deputy or correctional officer’s career and accomplishments.  Ribbons range from assignments, to longevity and recognition. Group photos were taken in front of the historic Inyo County Courthouse.

Winter Travel and Safety Tips

It looks like a wintery weekend awaits residents and visitors of the Owens Valley.  With that said, I want to make sure that everyone is prepared! Roads and sidewalks can be very icy so please slow down and be careful when you exit your vehicle or go for a walk. Check your stoves and furnace for issues and make sure there are no blockages that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. DO NOT use heating items or barbeques that are not approved for inside use.  Always keep an emergency kit in your vehicle (which includes blankets, food and water, first aid kit, flashlight, emergency flares and necessary medications).   For more tips, check out FEMA’s guide to winter storms and extreme cold at

Stay safe and warm!

Bill Lutze, Sheriff

Donations for Animal Shelter

ICARE (Inyo/Mono County Animal Resources and Education) has partnered with Inyo County to construct a new Animal Shelter and Adoption Center in Big Pine. The existing shelter was constructed as a milk barn in the 1920s and was never intended to house companion animals. Our homeless pets deserve better.

ICARE and Inyo County have raised about $500,000 out of the $800,000 needed to construct the new shelter. In order to start work on the project, ICARE is asking animal lovers near and far to help raise the final $300,000. Although donations in any amount are welcome and needed, donations of at least $500 will be acknowledged on a Donor Recognition Wall in a prominent location at the new Animal Shelter and Adoption Center.

“Paw” recognition levels are as follows:

PLATINUM – $5,000 or more is enough for one dog kennel or two cat kennels.

GOLD – $2,500 is enough for one cat kennel

SILVER – $1,000

BRONZE – $500

Your gifts may be mailed to: ICARE – New Animal Shelter, Box 76, Bishop, CA  93515 or donations may be made via Paypal on-line at  Please call ICARE at 760-872-3802 with any questions.

Thank you!