News and Press Releases
Sheriff's Office Announces Job Openings in Jail PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 19:01

With the voters' approval in May of operating funds to keep the jail open, and the beginning of a new fiscal year, the Sheriff's Office announced the opening of positions in the jail for corrections deputies and corrections technicians to begin to restaff the jail after years of budget cuts and staff losses had put the jail on the precipice of closure.

"We have begun the long journey to bring back our jail operations to some semblance of health," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. The jail is expected to add seven full-time positions as a means of restaffing the jail.  The staffing of the jail had fallen well below the minimum number needed to operate efficiently and effectively, and the influx of staff and additional funding for jail services will mean that the 25 local beds that can be filled today will eventually return to 100 local beds.

 "This will be a huge shot in the arm for the criminal justice system in our county," the sheriff said, "and it will enable us not only to keep the jail open, but to house more offenders whose crimes demand accountability beyond the catch and release reality we had come to embrace over the past few years."

 

 
Longtime Sheriff's Volunteer Ron Hermo Passes Away PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 20:49

Longtime Sheriff's Volunteer Ron Hermo died in his home after a protracted illness this morning.  The family is planning a celebration of life in the Clatskanie area on June 29.  Sheriff Jeff Dickerson prepared the following tribute to Ron's memory:

On Tuesday, June 17, longtime sheriff’s office volunteer Ron Hermo passed away in his home in the Clatskanie area after a prolonged illness. His passing is a tremendous loss to his family, to his community and to the sheriff’s office, as well.

 

When I took office in 2009, Ron had had been a leader within the sheriff’s posse for a number of years, but he was particularly adept in his role as a search and rescue volunteer. His energy and commitment to search and rescue principles quickly established him as one of our most reliable volunteers.

 

Ron became our volunteer search and rescue coordinator, reporting directly to the undersheriff.  He  not only became increasingly skilled within the command post at various search and rescue (SAR) incidents, but he also kept track of all the hours and training put in by search and rescue members, and he filed all required SAR reports with the State of Oregon.

 

As a volunteer, Ron represented the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at state sheriff’s association Search and Rescue Command Council meetings.  In 2008, the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association recognized Ron  for his “outstanding contributions and support in the coordination of the Lost But Found Program.” He brought back to us the latest innovations and best practices from around the state and held his own as a search and rescue leader among SAR representatives (many of them sworn deputies and supervisors) from sheriff’s offices around Oregon.

 

Ron helped carry the Search and Rescue team in Columbia County to new heights in professionalism, recruitment, and training.  Our team has developed within the region as part of the overall mix in Northwest Oregon SAR resources, training regularly with other SAR teams and hosting regional training with those teams, as well.

 

He leaves behind a team of dedicated search and rescue team members who will undoubtedly perpetuate his commitment to excellence that the team has come to embrace.  The entire sheriff’s office mourns his passing with his family, and wishes them peace and  comfort in this time of loss.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 21:10
 
Authorities Offer Cash Reward For Information Related to Burglary Spree PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 June 2014 23:09
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office and St. Helens Police Department have announced the establishment of a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those person(s) involved in the numerous burglaries occurring in the Greater St. Helens area.  

Working in conjunction with the Columbia Enforcement Narcotics team (CENT), a reward of up to $1,000 dollars  has been established to help draw out this information.   CENT is offering the reward for specific, credible information that leads to arrest(s) and conviction(s) in this case.

People with information concerning these burglaries can contact St. Helens Police Sgt. Phil Edwards at (503) 397-3333 or Sheriff's Detective Lenard Olsen (503) 366-4611.
 
St. Helens Area Hit by Day Time Burglary Spree PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 May 2014 22:46

Over the last two weeks, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office has taken multiple residential burglary reports at residences off of West Kappler Rd., East Kappler Rd., Sykes Rd. and Firlok Park Blvd.  Firearms have been taken n some of the burglaries.

As of yet, no positive suspect identification has been made.  The Sheriff's Office recommends locking windows and doors and keeping valuables in a safe.  Document serial numbers and keep them in  safe place.  Law enforcement needs make, model and serial number information in order to enter stolen items into its database.

 Deputies are working these areas to identify suspicious activity.  They will also be handing out flyers in the neighborhoods warning residents to be on the watch for suspicious behavior.  You may report  suspicious activity by calling the non-emergency dispatch number at (503) 397-1521.  If you witness criminal activity in progress, please call 911.  Citizens are encouraged not to approach potential suspects, but should provide dispatch call takers with as much descriptive information (make, model, color, license plate; and/or race, sex, height, weight, hair color and clothing description) as possible.

 
Marine Patrol Deputies Recover Body of Missing Portland Man PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 22 February 2014 01:57

Sheriff's Deputies recovered the body of a man missing from a kayaking incident in the vicinity of the Gilbert River and McNary Lake on Sauvie Island Friday afternoon.

At around 2:30 PM, Columbia County Sheriff's Deputies responded in patrol boats, and also requested the assistance of the United States Coast Guard. Oregon State Police Fish and Game Troopers had arrived and found an overturned kayak, and clothing in the area where the missing man was last seen. One man had already swam to safety, but one man was still missing.

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office responded to assist with additional searchers.The Coast Guard responded with a helicopter, but was unable to spot the missing person from the air. The shoreline in the area was also thoroughly searched with the assistance of Multnomah County. Scappoose Police also responded early in the search to assist.

After ground searches were unsuccessful, a small boat was launched in McNary Lake with deputies on board. A large portion of the bottom of McNary Lake was searched using a drag bar, and around 9:15 PM, deputies found and recovered the body of 41 year old Dim Dy of SE Portland, OR.

During the investigation it was determined that the victim had been fishing in a 14 foot kayak with an unrelated adult male friend in McNary Lake. One of the men in the kayak attempted to stand up in the small boat and cast his line. This caused the boat to capsize, throwing both men into the frigid 45 degree water. The victim who survived swam around 50 yards to shore, but his friend, Mr. Dy was not able to make it safely to shore. The victim who survived was very hypothermic, and was transported by ambulance to a Portland area hospital. At last check, he was in serious condition.

Neither of the men were wearing life jackets, and both had been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident. The waterways in Columbia County are very high and cold right now. This is a very unfortunate incident--alcohol and no life jacket are always a bad combination.

 
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