With her Taser in hand, Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon peeks inside a window in the back of a house in Morton to see if anyone is moving around as Morton police officer Perry Royale works the front side of the house in an attempt to make contact with a man wanted on a warrant. Shannon explained that the house, which is technically empty, is often where a known group of drug users congregate. When things slow down for Shannon, she always does her best to help officer Royale. When he needs back up while searching for wanted criminals, Shannon is always ready to assist. "We take care of each other," said officer Royale, who, even off the job, has helped Shannon with repair projects at her house.
After making contact with a group of youths supposedly partying on the cliffs overlooking Alder Lake, Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon, left, and Washington State Patrol Trooper Michael Farkas make the quarter-mile hike back to their respective patrol cars.
As Richard Jacoby finished his cigarette, Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon guzzles the last bit of her Pepsi Max before the pair head to Mossyrock. Just 30 minutes earlier Jacoby was arrested for alleged possession of methamphetamine and suspicion of driving while license suspended third degree. Jacoby had evaded Shannon for weeks and she was more than pleased to get the 62-year-old Mineral man in custody. Shannon had promised Jacoby a cigarette prior to make the 30-minute trek to Mossyrock from Mineral and it offered both of them a quick break after a hectic hour.
It's a daily situation for Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon: alone, making house calls, in a rural, grimy part of East Lewis County.
In search of a Mineral man, who had evaded arrest for a number of weeks, and woman who was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant, Shannon walks towards the disheveled the property of a junk yard owner in Mineral who allows the wanted couple to stay. Shannon knew the woman in questions drives a white Chevy Blazer with no back window and spotted the vehicle from the road. After checking the residence and talking with the owner of the property, who said that he had not seen the either the man or woman, she decided to check for herself amidst the squalor of the property.
"People spread rumors that I can jump over cars and run a 60-second 440 (-yard dash)," said Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon. "I let (the rumors) go and they don't which rumors are true or not."
Shannon walks away from the front door after knocking several times and attempting to verbally coax a woman, who is wanted on a misdemeanor warrant, out of her house. Even though Shannon was convinced someone was inside the residence, no one answered the door. Shannon, who stands a daunting 6 feet, 2 inches, played Division I basketball in college and was also in the United States Coast Guard. Legends of her prowess on the job resonate among criminals in East Lewis County. She admits that most of them are not true, but she is not one to let rumors swirl as it could help steer potential criminals away from her in the future.
"I was under an intense amount of stress," said Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon about the reason for her discovery of yoga and meditation. "I needed to find a holistic way to release myself."
Life as a sheriff's deputy is stressful, and just over two years ago Shannon reached her threshold. After a number of stress relief strategies fell to the wayside, she found yoga and meditation. Now, before every shift, she spends over a half hour doing yoga then meditating at her home.
Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon talks to the driver of a truck that was hauling a trailer that failed to have the break lights hooked up. What is typically a routine stop for Shannon intensified when she asked if the man was armed, he responded that he had a gun in his back pocket. Although the traffic stop became a little more tense, it was still fairly typical as many people in East Lewis County carry weapons and have their concealed weapons permit, which the man had. She asked him to slowly remove the .32 caliber pistol and place it on the floor and then step out of the car so he could inspect the problem with his trailer's brake lights. They were not hooked up properly and he quickly took care of the problem and went on his way sans a ticket.
A lighter and an assortment of drug paraphernalia used to smoke methamphetamine was confiscated from Richard A. Jacoby after he was arrested by Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon on Monday, April 28 in Mineral. Deputy Shannon found the illicit objects in one of Jacoby's jacket pockets. The deputy performed a field test on the pipes which came back positive. Jacoby was booked into the Lewis County Jail that night.
After making the short quarter-mile hike through the Pleasant Valley Wilderness Area to Alder Lake — a walk which Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon told the state troopers was just 100 yards — the trio of law enforcement officers made contact with over a dozen kids in the late-teens and early 20s. Shannon asked if they had been drinking, the kids said no. Then she asked who owned the blue cooler (bottom right), there was a silence, followed by shrugs and uncertainty from the youths. Six beers lay at the bottom of the cooler and Shannon instructed the kids to pour out the beer and have a nice day. No arrests were made and no infractions were given on the 80-plus-degree day. But, a stern lecturing was given to the youths.
"I'm more like these people than the people in big cities," said Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon, who also lives in a remote part of East Lewis County. "We connect and once we connect its made my job easier."
A couple of men in their early 20s show Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon and Washington State Trooper Michael Farkas, right, the raft they made out of wood around Alder Lake. Shannon was impressed, but warned the pair that even though its 80 degrees outside, the lake is much colder than what they think and to be careful next time they get on the water.
Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon speaks with Frank and Bonnie Vanderhule at their home in Randle, Wash. Shannon made a stop at the Vanderhule residence to speak with Frank Vanderhule, left and his wife, Bonnie, right, and attempt to locate a chair that was broken in an altercation that happened at the Vanderhule house but did not involve the couple.
Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon makes a call to dispatch as Richard Jacoby sits in the back seat of her patrol car as she drives away from Mineral. Jacoby, who was arrested for driving with a suspended license and possession of methamphetamine, had to be taken to Mossyrock where two other deputies would pick him up and bring him back to the Lewis County Jail in Chehalis.
After repositioning Richard Jacoby's handcuffs, Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon makes good on a promise to give Jacoby a smoke before they make the 30-minute drive back to Mossyrock where he would be picked up by a pair of deputies and brought to the Lewis County Jail in Chehalis.
Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon talks on her cell phone as Morton police officer Perry Royale waits in his patrol car after meeting up on Thursday, May 1. Almost every 15 minutes Shannon's cell phone rings with someone on the other line complaining about their neighbors dog, giving her an integral tip in an investigation or just howling at the moon. Shannon said she almost gets more reports from people describing crimes or making complaints on her cell phone than actual calls the from Lewis County emergency dispatch. She always asks whomever calls whether they called dispatch first, usually they say that its easier to just call her phone. Although Shannon returns every message, she always insists to the reporting party that dispatch be called first.
Richard A. Jacoby sits in the backseat of the patrol car as Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon bags up the test results from a methamphetamine pipe that was found on Jacoby earlier in the evening after being arrested in Mineral. Shannon did the quick field test and recorded the results with a digital camera as they waited for two other sheriffs deputies to pick up Jacoby in the Mossyrock City Hall parking lot. The test results were positive. Jacoby was booked into jail that night.
Pink handcuffs, a gift to Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon from an ex, corral the wrists of Richard A. Jacoby, who was arrested for driving with a suspended license and possession of methamphetamine on Monday, April 28, in Mineral.
"(Policing East Lewis County) is about the bigger picture, it's about protecting the community," said Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon.
Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon gives Mike Sweazy a hug after arresting a wanted man that was living on his property and borrowed his truck. Shannon noted that she was about ready to cite Mike for harboring a fugitive. But, when the time came she let Mike go with a stern warning, he was grateful and promised that when the wanted man, who also had a suspended drivers license, got out of jail, he wouldn't let him borrow his truck anymore. Hugs ensued. Often times Shannon plays a game of chess with people in East Lewis County, she knows that handing out tickets for minimal infractions can cost her information in the long run. She hopes that just a dour lecture to someone will pay dividends in the future.
In the dark of night on Thursday, May 1, Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon searches the property behind a house in Randle, Wash. for the remnants of a broken chair that she thought would be evidence in an ongoing investigation.
Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Sue Shannon walks through the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Area towards Alder Lake where there was a report of over a dozen teenagers drinking along the shores. For 12 years Lewis County Sheriff's Deputy Shannon has patrolled the largest area in Lewis County, a rugged landscape that stretches from Mossyrock in the west to White Pass in the east and goes as far north as Ashford and and as far south into the Gifford Pinchot National Forrest.
Double truck on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 for The Guardian of East Lewis County story in The Chronicle.