By Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan Sayers
Another year in the books, and I think many of us are happy to see 2021 in the rearview mirror.
With that said, 2021 was a busy and productive year for the law enforcement community of Clearfield County, and I cannot thank them enough for the hard work and dedication they have for the people of this county.
We ended the year with 1,291 new cases being held to the Court of Common Pleas, which does not include cases resolved at the magisterial level, juvenile cases and probation/parole violations.
There were 54 trials scheduled with 43 picking juries and the other 11 being bench trials. Nineteen of those cases went to a verdict and the others either pleaded guilty, were continued, had a defendant fail to appear or were dismissed by the judge.
The most serious trial of the year being that of Denny Bailey. The jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and the judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Additionally, thanks to a joint operation with the Pennsylvania State Police, municipal police departments and federal agencies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office was able to shut down a major drug operation bringing large amounts of meth and other drugs into Clearfield County.
It is truly an honor and pleasure to work with the men and women of the Thin Blue Line, and serve the people of Clearfield County as district attorney. May God bless you all with a fruitful and happy New Year!
Outside of the Courtroom:
In April, thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Grice, the law enforcement community was able to purchase a TruNarc Drug Analyzer.
This piece of equipment helps streamline prosecutions and protect officers from having direct contact with potentially harmful substances.
May saw the first Blue Mass in some years here in Clearfield County. The Blue Mass is celebrated annually throughout the United States in Catholic Churches for all law enforcement officers, firefighters, correctional officers, 911 operators and EMS personnel regardless of religious beliefs.
During the Blue Mass, the Inaugural Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award was presented to Officer Casey Doherty of the DuBois City Police Department, and Civilian of the Year Award to Don Shaw of Clearfield.
Shop with a Cop returned to the DuBois area with officers from the Pennsylvania State Police, DuBois City Police Department and Sandy Township Police Department pairing with elementary students to purchase gifts for Christmas.
Drug Court Update:
In July, the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI) Program was launched in Clearfield County with the help of the Attorney General’s Office.
This program, while a step in the right direction to help those that have not been in trouble with the law before and have a substance abuse issue, is only part of the picture.
Clearfield County needs a full Drug Court Program similar to most counties in the Commonwealth. The District Attorney and Commissioners, with the help of CenClear, secured a grant for a Drug Court.
Regretfully though, the President Judge declined to adopt Drug Court and the funds had to be returned.