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Russell to retire from YCSO; Rhodes to take over second-in-command position

Sheriff Scott Mascher speaks to the crowd assembled for the promotion ceremony Thursday, Aug. 11, as incoming Chief Deputy Dave Rhodes, County Supervisors Chip Davis, Tom Thurman, Jack Smith and retiring Chief Deputy John Russell listen.

Photo by Scott Orr.

Sheriff Scott Mascher speaks to the crowd assembled for the promotion ceremony Thursday, Aug. 11, as incoming Chief Deputy Dave Rhodes, County Supervisors Chip Davis, Tom Thurman, Jack Smith and retiring Chief Deputy John Russell listen.

PRESCOTT — Yavapai County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy John Russell hasn’t taken two consecutive weeks off work since 1982.

He’s been at the YCSO for about 27 years, and before that in law enforcement in Colorado.

He is retiring as the number-two man in the Sheriff’s Office as of Sept. 1.

And, while he loved the job, when asked if he would miss it, he said, “Probably eventually,” with a wry smile.

“I’ve got a deer tag, I’ve got an elk tag, I have a lot of projects at home, things I’ve been putting off,” Russell said.

Thursday morning, Aug. 11, the YCSO held a promotion ceremony in the Board of Supervisors’ meeting room.

Russell’s departure had a domino effect, and it made room for other changes, Sheriff Scott Mascher said.

“It’s a really good thing,” he said, “Everybody has an opportunity for movement—new assignments, transfers, promotions—if they want it.”

He added that there is a feeling that people can have “long-term career plans with the Sheriff’s Office.”

Mascher, who worked his way up to Sheriff from a volunteer position in the 1980s, said that’s what he likes to see happen to others.

“That’s all about what this agency is doing here. A lot of people have spent their careers here ... (we are) promoting from within, because we’ve been mentoring and developing our people internally, to take over my job one day,” he said.

Captain Dave Rhodes will take over for Russell. Rhodes has over 20 years with YCSO.

As he announced Rhodes’ appointment to Chief Deputy, Mascher noted that he had known Rhodes “since we were about 12 years old,” and noted that he has worked a wide variety of assignments.

One of those was running the jail. “The jail is one of our most difficult and complex assignments,” Mascher said.

Also promoted were:

• Lt. Richard Martin to Captain, Law Enforcement Services Division;

• Sgt. David Williams, to Lieutenant, Eastern Area Command;

• Detention Officer Reggie James to Sergeant, Detention Services Division;

• Detention Officer Jesse Santos to Sergeant, Detention Services Division;

• Deputy Jarrod Winfrey to Sergeant, will supervise K9 unit within PANT.

Mascher administered the oath of office to the six men who were promoted, saying, “I always hear, ‘question authority,’ and sometimes, we’re looked at that way, but that’s one of the rights we’re afforded in our individual liberties…and that oath of office reminds you of that.”