News and Press Releases
Sheriff's Office Budget Will Result in Fewer Walk-in Hours PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 May 2009 17:04
Due to budget cuts looming ahead for the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Jeff Dickerson has announced a reduction of service hours at the walk-in window beginning in June.

"In an effort to help address a 17.67 percent reduction in general fund revenue that is dedicated our budget, we will close the front office four hours per week on Fridays, beginning Friday, June 5," Sheriff Dickerson said. Countywide, general fund revenue is down about 5 percent, but the Sheriff's Office share of that reduction is more than three times that amount.

"We represent the biggest expenditure of general fund dollars," Dickerson acknowledged, "If the budget has huge gaps in it, we are the place they are going to cut."

Additional staffing in the front office and a needed civil deputy position have been cut from the sheriff's original budget request this spring, making the current crush of civil papers and criminal reports that much harder to tackle, the sheriff said. With the addition of employee furloughs looming as a partial solution to county funding woes, the strain on the sheriff's front office make the move to reduced hours at the front window a necessary choice.

"So much doesn't get done in the hours we have now," Dickerson said. "In order to manage the increase in reports and civil papers as well as the potential loss of employee hours, we believe we must reduce the service at the window."

The Sheriff's new business hours (which will be posted online) will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays.  Jail Visitation hours in the afternoons on Friday will be handled through the Jail directly, as they are during holidays and the weekend.

"Reduction of hours of service is not where I want to go," Dickerson said. "It's where we're being lead, with little option.  This may only be the beginning of some difficult choices in the future, but no matter what, we will continue to strive to deliver the best service possible."
Last Updated on Monday, 18 May 2009 17:09
Monday, 18 May 2009 11:57

On May 16 and 17,  the Columbia County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team held its annual re-certification overnighter at Camp Wilkerson.  Thirty team members received their state certification by showing knowledge and proficiency in land navigation/GPS, tracking, search techniques, wilderness first aid, shelter and fire building, as well as helicopter safety.

Members had to carry a 130 lb role player in a stoke through an obstacle course and their fires had to be built without the use of matches or lighters.  Shelters were built with only items that the members carried in their backpacks and had to be constructed so that it was visible to searchers and could keep the 4 person team dry and warm. There was also a mock incident command post in place with an incident action plan for guidance.  Team members had to complete 30 hours of additional training and had to take a state exam before  receiving their certificates.

The Columbia County Search and Rescue is a 501C3 non-profit group consisting of volunteer  residents from Columbia County.  All members must by at least 18 years old and be able to pass a background check prior to the start of the training. The team is dispatched through the Sheriff’s Office and is under the guidance of Undersheriff Andy Moyer. Team members will be receiving additional training throughout the calendar year and will begin the re-certification process next January.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Columbia County Search and Rescue you can come by the Sheriff’s Office and pick up an application or contact Ron Hermo or Terri Etter at 503-366-4611.

Search and Rescue Team

Last Updated on Monday, 18 May 2009 12:10
CCSO Deputy Involved in Shooting PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 April 2009 20:16

A Columbia County Sheriff's deputy responding to an unwanted subject at a residence in the Clatskanie area Monday was involved in a shooting with an armed suspect.

The deputy was not hit by gunfire.  The suspect was transported to a Portland hospital with injuries sustained in the fight. He was later transferred to the Columbia County Jail on several charges..

The name of the Deputy involved in yesterday's officer-involved shooting incident is Deputy David Fuller -- a 25-year veteran.

Deputy Fuller had responded to family dispute between a mother, Susan Souvenir of Clatskanie, and her son, Eric Toftemark, 35,  at the family residence at 73125 Alder Grove Rd.

When the Deputy arrived, Toftemark produced a shotgun.  A struggle over the shotgun ensued as Ms. Souvenir fled the home and accessed the  police radio in the deputy's car to call for help.

During the struggle, the shotgun discharged and the suspect was injured.  Deputy Fuller was able to take Mr. Toftemark into custody without further incident.

As part of standard procedure, Deputy Fuller is currently on paid administrative leave pending a review of the incident.

CCSO takes Carjacking Suspect Into Custody PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 April 2009 20:15

ST. HELENS – Columbia County Sheriff's deputies have a suspect in custody today after a  harrowing carjacking incident Sunday night that injured one victim and netted the recovery of  the stolen vehicle shortly after it was taken from a St. Helens area man.

In custody in the Columbia County Jail is Shannon L. Winter, 35, on one count of Assault Third Degree, One count each  of Kidnapping Second Degree and Recklessly Endangering Another, along with additional single counts of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Robbery Second Degree and Criminal Mischief Second Degree.

On April 12th, 2009 at about 6:50 p.m., deputies received a call of a stolen vehicle in progress on Vandolah Lane near St. Helens.  As deputies were responding, it was reported that the vehicle had crashed a short distance from where it had been taken.  Two  suspects (one male and one female) were reported to be at large in the densely wooded area just north of where the stolen vehicle had crashed.    A request for additional units was made and a perimeter was set using officers from the cities of Scappoose, Columbia City and Rainier and the Oregon State Police.  Canine units responded from St. Helens and Clatskanie police departments.

Approximately one-half hour after beginning a canine track of the suspects, Winter was located near a power line  access road and was taken into custody without further incident.

The incident began when Winter reportedly contacted the victims in their vehicle as the victims were preparing to tow a separate disabled vehicle with their 1997 Dodge pickup. The victims offered to give the suspect and a female subject a ride.  Winter and the female were in the pickup truck when the pickup's owner, Dave Brenden, 46, St. Helens, got out to hook up the disabled vehicle. A second victim, Daniel McMillen of St. Helens also got out and into the bed of the pickup.

With both victims out of the truck, the suspect got into the driver's seat and drove off with McMillen still in the back, and Brenden was dragged approximately 20 feet by his own vehicle.  Brenden reported no injuries.  McMillen received some injuries but refused medical attention. McMillen was in the bed of the pickup when the vehicle subsequently crashed but was not thrown from the vehicle. The suspect and female associate fled on foot.  The female has not been located or identified.

Longtime Deputy Named New Jail Commander PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 09:09
Jim Carpenter, Jail CommanderSt. Helens, Ore. – Sheriff Jeff Dickerson has chosen a familiar face to take command of the Columbia County Jail.

Dickerson has named First Sergeant Jim Carpenter to fill the position that had been vacant for two years prior to the new sheriff taking office January 1.  Carpenter was the construction liaison for the county when the current jail, sheriff’s office and community corrections facility was constructed in 2000. He has served the community in the Corrections Division of the sheriff’s office for 20 years. The new jail commander takes charge of his position effective April 1.

“Jim Carpenter  brings years of administrative and supervisory experience to the table,” Dickerson said. “He has been instrumental in assisting me with my transition to the sheriff’s office and has helped build relationships between me and my staff.  I believe he is the best person for the job to help me continue to reinvigorate the office of sheriff in Columbia County.”

Carpenter began his career with CCSO in 1989 after years in private business in Scappoose. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.  One of his three children, Doug Carpenter is a sergeant for the Scappoose Police Department.

After joining the sheriff’s office, Carpenter worked his way up the chain of command, beginning with an appointment to sergeant in 1998.  In 2001, he began running the programs inside the jail.  In 2005, Sheriff Phil Derby appointed Carpenter to the rank of first sergeant and gave him considerable administrative authority in the sheriff’s office.  In 2008, Derby named Carpenter as the acting jail manager, a position he continued to hold until Dickerson  tapped him to help with increased oversight in the jail.

“We are restructuring the command structure in the jail to address efficiency issues,” Dickerson said, “and Carpenter has been a great help to me all along the process.  He is a team player who has the best interests of the sheriff’s office and of our employees in mind.  I trust him to lead this transition with compassion and dedication to duty.”

Carpenter takes the reins in the jail with advanced and supervisor certificates in corrections from the State Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.  He attended the state Executive Academy in 2003, the Supervisory Academy in 2004 and the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association Command College in 2005.

He is a member of the Elks Club who had helped in the formative stages of the Scappoose Sauerkraut Festival, a past Scout master and is still involved in many fund raisers for children’s organizations and civic groups.
Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2009 16:13
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