News and Press Releases
Sheriff's Office Releases 2015 Annual Report PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 May 2016 13:32

"After years of declining budgets and position cuts due to reduced resources, 2015 was a pivotal year for the Sheriff's Office, and our annual report documents how this organization has been able to turn the corner with funding that has helped us be more effect and efficient than ever," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson after releasing his annual report to the Citizens of Columbia County.

The 2015 version of the sheriff's report documents the cessation of forced release of inmates after the influx of voter-approved funding to not only rescue the jail from its scheduled closure in 2014, but also to rebuild the jail's capacity to hold inmates beyond just the 25 local inmates the jail was able to hold in previous years.

The report also documents activities in the Enforcement and Support Services Division, with major crimes being solved, the addition of a law enforcement canine unit, the great work of our volunteers who continue to add so many hours and services that we could not provide without them, and much more!

The report is available online at:

http://www.co.columbia.or.us/sheriff/images/pdfs/2015Report.pdf   

and limited numbers of printed copies are available at the Sheriff's Office.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 May 2016 13:52
 
Paddle Boarder Presumed Drowned Near Collins Beach PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 May 2016 14:06

On Sunday, May 1, 2016 the Columbia County Sheriff's Office received a call at approximately 4:20 PM that a female paddle boarder went into the Columbia River and did not resurface. This occurred in the area of Collins Beach on Sauvie Island. 28 year old Ha Khuong Vo Dang of Portland is presumed drowned. A recovery search by the Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol continues this afternoon.

Two patrol boats from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office responded to search for the missing paddle boarder. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, US Coast Guard, Portland Fire, and Scappoose Fire also responded with patrol boats. A US Coast Guard helicopter also assisted in the search.

At approximately 8 PM the Columbia County Sheriff's office suspended the search. The missing person was not located.

Although the sheriff's office had identified the missing paddle boarder we did not release the name until notification was made today at 2:00 p.m., because family has not been able to be located until that time

It appears that the paddle boarder was not wearing a life jacket. The sheriff's office is also investigating the possibility that alcohol may have been involved. Citizens are reminded that the Columbia River at this time a year has very low temperatures with a fast current and all river users are encouraged to her personal floatation devices (PFD's) at all times.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 May 2016 14:08
 
Deputies Capture Jail Inmate who walked away on April 18 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 April 2016 11:14
Deputies searching in the area of Tide Creek Rd. on Wedenesday  located the inmate who walked away from our outside worker program April 18..

On Monday April 18th, Everett Eugene Stougard, Jr., Age 40, walked away from the yard at the Columbia County Jail. Stougard, who was booked into jail on March 12, 2016, was serving a 120 day sentence for Possession of Methamphetamine. He was due to be released on May 27, 2016.

Deputies spent the afternoon hours today conducting consent searches  of possible  residences where Stougard was known to  frequent.  At 5:30 p.m., deputies, with the assistance of our Tracking K "Lars," encountered the inmate hiding in a residence.   The inmate initially refused to come out, but surrendered to deputies who threatened to deploy the K9 deputy.

"We are reviewing our security measures and qualifying procedures for those assigned to the outside worker program," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said.   "While Inmate Stougard had been in our facility before and had successfully taken part in the program in the past, we will take a look at any other factors that contributed to a different outcome in this instance.  We remain committed to finding ways to assist inmates in developing positive attributes that can help keep them from committing new crimes.
Needless to say, Stougard has been rescinded from ever participating in this program."
 
Functioning Jail Helps Accused Make Court Dates PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 December 2015 16:14
Ever since the jail has been able to keep inmates beyond just a few days (in fact,  inmates have not been force-released since May) The courts report that those accused of criminal violations are now far more likely to show up for their required court times.
 
Additionally, more inmates are being held now pending their trials. Those who are not out on bond or other court release, are now held until trial, making it easy for those who are sentenced to prison to be sent directly from jail to prison.  
 
"The fact that our jail remained open and was able to increase its bed availability after voters passed the levy for jail operations financing, has made all the difference in our ability to catch and hold those who break our laws and hold them accountable for the same," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.
 
 

 
Sheriff's Office Establishes K9 Unit PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 December 2015 15:43
Welcome to "Lars," our 20-month Belgium Malinois canine officer, who will be handled by Deputy Ryan Dews . We picked up Lars November 13, and will begin a 10-week training program with him and his handler in January. We are so excited to have this newest member of our office!
 
Lars originally came from Czechoslovakia. He was imported into the United States in October, 2015. Lars is a documented and titled Belgium Malinois who started his training around the age of 12 weeks. He comes to our sheriff's office with obedience, searching/tracking, officer protection, and suspect apprehension training. 

Lars was tested along with 13 other dogs with similar skills. All of the dogs were either Belgium Malinois or German Shephards between the age of 14 months and 3 1/2 years.

We looked for a well rounded dog that was both social and inquisitive with a high play drive. Belgium Malinois are generally a healthier dog than German Shephards; this was also a major factor in the selection process.

Lars tested the best out of 14 dogs tested in a two day process. Each individual test took anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours. The testing was rather intense and time consuming but it was well worth the time and effort. We feel that we selected an outstanding dog that will serve Columbia County for years to come.

We drove to California and tested dogs at two different police K9 facilities between Sacramento and Los Angeles, CA. We spent a lot of time on the road getting into hotels late during this process. We owe a huge thanks to the St. Helens Police Department and K9 Officer Jon Eggers. They allowed Officer Eggers to join us and help with the testing process. He has years of experience and has handled three police K9's over the years with St. Helens PD. 

As you can imagine the K9 program is in need of some additional funds to make this the best possible program. We need training equipment, vehicle equipment, handler equipment, specific dog care items, specific high quality dog food, specific kennel materials, etc. We also need to raise funds for a ballistic vest and K9 camera system that is actually worn by the K9 while he is out working.

We currently have a non profit 501c3 account set up for donations to the K9 program. We are in the process of starting a social media campaign giving people the ability to "sponsor" Lars as he gets closer and closer to working in our communities. Any monetary donations can be made in person at the sheriff's office or by mail at 901 Port Avenue, St. Helens, OR. Any donations need to be clearly marked as "sheriff's k9 program", receipts for all donations are available.

" Lars will be the only tracking K9 currently working in Columbia County and cities within," said Lt. Dustin Hald. "We have been using Portland PB, Hillsboro PD, Beaverton PD, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office  (WA), and Longview PD (WA). When these agencies were called in to assist it would take anywhere between 1 and 2 hours for a response. Having Lars out on patrol is going to make Columbia County a safer place to live, work, and visit."
 
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