Two new deputies hail from Hydesville, Arcata; sheriff says hiring locally has benefits

Humboldt County, meet your new homegrown deputies.

Sheriff Mike Downey will swear in Ben Filippini and Marcus Walker, both 21-year-old graduates from College of the Redwoods Police Academy, on April 14 at 9 a.m. in the Humboldt County jail conference room.

"I've wanted this job ever since I can remember," said Filippini, who is from Hydesville and graduated from Ferndale High School. "I'm a people person. I like to do anything I can to make someone's day better."

Walker, who graduated from Arcata High School, said he's very thankful he and Filippini have been entrusted as the county's newest deputy sheriffs.

"It's a big responsibility, but we're looking forward to it," Walker said. "I'm excited to help people all throughout the county."

The office has had great candidates from outside the area, but there are certainly benefits to hiring locally, Downey said.

"Local people have knowledge about the needs of the area. And, because of the size of our county, they often already know a lot of the people here," Downey said. "The ceremony is a great way of honoring them and their family, publicly acknowledging them starting out and introducing them to the community. We've hired four or five new deputy sheriffs in the last year. That brings the total to around 80, and there are currently no more deputy sheriff vacancies. In the last year or so, we've tried to get as many hirees in at the same time to honor as many as we can in one opportunity."

Jillian Singh can be reached at 441-0509 or