Deputy Baarts of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is dispatched to a neighbor dispute call. A man has reportedly shot his neighbor with a pellet gun. Deputy Baarts and two additional deputies cautiously approach the house and spot a man inside. They call out to him and convince him to exit the house with his hands in the air. The suspect is detained without incident but he refuses to answer questions. Deputy Skerrett interviews the neighbors who reported the crime, and the man who was shot shows the deputy where he was hit. He also explains that his neighbor freaks out every time the victim gets on his own tractor. The victim’s dogs and tractor were also shot by the neighbor. Deputy Skerrett inspects the tractor and the surrounding area before he returns to the detained neighbor. The man is finally willing to speak with the deputies, and he claims that his neighbor runs the tractor 24 hours per day, seven days a week. He has asked the neighbor to stop running the tractor at nine o’clock at night, but the man runs the loud tractor all night long. This has forced the man to turn the volume on his TV up to 100 in order to drown out the tractor noise. He does admit to having shot at his neighbor with a BB Gun three or four times. The man is taken to jail for assault with a deadly weapon, where he will get a reprieve from having to experience all that tractor noise.

Name

Erik Baarts

Rank

Deputy Sheriff

Agency

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office

Station/Area Command

Main Office Patrol

Age

45

From

Eureka, CA

Hired

10/1997

Why Law Enforcement

My Father, Brother, and Sister have all had careers in law enforcement. I can you could say that law enforcement is a family trade. I knew at a young age that I would get involved in Law Enforcement. Now twenty years in, there is nothing I would rather be doing. With that being said, there is a lot of sacrifices you and your family have to make to be able to work in this profession. Without family support, it is difficult to be successful in this profession.

First Arrest

I can remember my first arrest like it was yesterday. One my first day in uniform my FTO and I were dispatched to an intoxicated subject refusing to leave a bar. I was supposed to observe and be a cover officer. As we were walking into the bar, there were several people on the dance floor. When my FTO asked the subject to walk outside, the subject replied by challenging us to fight. When we grabbed the subject, he began to fight and was taken to the ground. We were being surrounded by several of the bar patrons, and I had to pull out my side handled impact weapon and get people to back up. Ultimately we were able to get the subject outside. The FTO Sergeant told me “watch how I do this kid” to show how me how to properly secure someone in the back of a patrol vehicle. When he placed the subject in the car, the subject kicked him in the knee. Sadly this ended up being a career-ending injury for the FTO Sergeant. It was an eye-opening experience.

Best part of the job

There are actually two things that I enjoy about my job. First, it is being able to provide a service and help people through a difficult time in their life. I pride myself on being able to show compassion to the people who are in need. The other aspect is that I have a passion for helping law enforcement officers who have suffered a PSTD injury or to help them prevent one. 140 Officers committed suicide in 2017. Doing whatever I can to take care of people in law enforcement who are going through a tough time is something that I am very passionate about.

Hobbies

For fun, I enjoy playing softball, racquetball, golf, bean bags, horseshoes and ping pong. I am fortunate to live in a beautiful area located in Northern California. Taking my dogs to the beach, and spending time with my family and friends is something that I truly enjoy. Having a teenage son that is involved in sports keeps me pretty busy when I am not working.

Favorite Quote

“Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.” – John Wooden

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