News and Press Releases
Sheriff's Office Uses Creativity, Outside Funding and Volunteers to Fill Budget Gaps PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 September 2012 19:48
Despite Budget Cuts that caused layoffs in the jail and patrol staff at the beginning of summer,  Columbia County is still receiving quality services from its Sheriff's Office, thanks to an empowered staff, increased outside funding and strong volunteer services.

"In many ways, we are getting more done with less, thanks to volunteers and creative staff members and thanks to a high level of outside funding, which is made up of grants, fees and agreements with outside entities," says Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.

This summer, because of a $700,000 budget reduction, the Sheriff's Office lost four Corrections Division positions and one Enforcement Division position. The layoffs would have been worse, except for a high level of outside revenue developed in this budget year. Additionally, a program featuring a call-triage system instituted last fall and a cadre of newly cross-trained deputies in both divisions, has absorbed the budget cuts with very little visible effect to the overall public safety mission

Added to the creative problem-solving that has led to improvement in service delivery county-wide, the Sheriff's Office has a high percentage of revenue coming in from outside resources in the form of grants, fees, and outside entity agreements totaling over $3.1 million in the current budget year.

"The revenue from outside sources is significant," says Undersheriff Andy Moyer. "With the county budget stressed to the point that only about $2.6 million is dedicated to the Sheriff's Office, the outside revenue we bring in makes up over half of the operating costs of the entire Sheriff's Office."  In the past four years, the Sheriff's Office has been buttressed by more than  the $12 million in outside resources while the county has provided roughly the same amount over that same period of time. "Without that outside funding from various sources, the Sheriff's Office mission would be severely crippled," Moyer said.

The Sheriff's Office also relies on volunteers to help fill gaps in service levels.  Volunteers serve in all three divisions of the sheriff's office, providing excellent services to the community at little extra cost to the public.  Reserve deputies help patrol in Columbia County both on the river and on the roadways. About 40 fully active Search and Rescue volunteers are available and train regularly to respond anywhere in or out of Columbia County to search for missing people or to find important evidence in a crime.  Add to that number an additional 10 volunteers who help with Sheriff's office programs, and there are well over 50 volunteers who are active members of the Sheriff's volunteer program.

"We have the highest number ever of trained and certified volunteer Search and Rescue members," says Volunteer Search and Rescue coordinator Ron Hermo.  These Search and rescue volunteers contribute thousands of hours each year to community service.

Lieutenant Dustin Hald oversees the Sheriff's Reserve Deputy program, and is currently in the background investigation stage on adding three additional reserve deputies to the four very active reserves serving in the Enforcement Division. Reserve deputies augment and expand the capabilities of the Sheriff's Office.

"Our Reserve Deputies average close to 250 hours every month -- thousands of hours per year," says Lieutenant Hald. "Our reserves are an important part of our volunteer program.  Last year, all Sheriff's office volunteers put in  6,708 total hours, and this year, they are on pace to put in well over 8,000 hours of volunteer, community service."

"Our volunteer programs are the highlight of an attitude that is growing among our staff," says Sheriff Dickerson. "And that attitude is one of a can-do nature.  We have a team here that is growing together to embrace our mission and find creative ways to solve problems in the myriad ways they present themselves in the three Divisions of the Sheriff's Office: Enforcement, Corrections and Support Services."

Part of that creativity is the call-triage system that has enabled deputies to have more time to investigate serious crimes without having any dropped calls.  In times past, deputies going from call to call would not be able to keep track of them all as they stacked up each day.  The new system allows deputies to put many non-emergency calls on hold until someone (a deputy, supervisor, or the sheriff) can get to the call for follow up at a later time. 

As a result, some calls are being handled with some delay, but every call is being answered.  A higher percentage of emergencies are getting a quicker response and a higher percentage of criminal investigations are being completed throughout the county.

"These are difficult economic times for many sheriff's offices around our state and nation," the sheriff says. "By empowering employees to be creative in their jobs, and by building bridges to volunteers and outside resources, we continue to provide the best service possible with the resources we have in Columbia County."
 
Sheriff's Deputies Searching for Wanted Subject Make Drug Bust on Unrelated Subjects PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 September 2012 23:31

Deputies searching for a subject who had run from them on Diblee Point Beach came across an unrelated vehicle during the search and ended up arresting the occupants on Drug and Theft charges early Monday morning.

Raymond Grothen, 58 and Cameron Mathews, 52 were inside a vehicle on the beach as deputies and other officers were searching the area for Jake Koski, 36, who was wanted out of Columbia County for Menacing and Recklessly Endangering Another.  Koski evaded capture in the darkness, but Grothen and Mathews were found with Methamphetamine and stolen goods in the vehicle.

Mathews was arrested for Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Trespassing II, Theft II by Receiving, and also had a Warrant from Vancouver Police. Grothman was arrested for Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Distribution of Meth, and Trespassing 2.

"Law enforcement agencies patrolling in North County have been attempting to crack down on illegal activity occurring on the beach at Diblee Point," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. "Deputies were on the beach making proactive contacts after midnight Monday morning when they came across Mr. Koski, who had the warrant.  When Koski ran from us, we came across the two men with a quantity of Meth during our search for Koski," the sheriff said.

The men were unlawfully on the beach at that time of night and had evidence of stolen goods (clothing) inside, as well as a quantity of methamphetamine on each of their persons.

The Sheriff's Office also had the help of the Oregon State Police and the Clatskanie Police Department in their search of the beach for unauthorized parties.  Koski remains at large.

 

          KOSKI

 

Last Updated on Monday, 10 September 2012 23:39
 
Enhanced Columbia County Marine Patrols Payoff On Busy Labor Day Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 00:11

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office committed extra manpower and boats to the Columbia River over the Labor Day Weekend.  The extra resources helped ease the burden on marine deputies as the weather favored a large turnout on the water.

Deputies put three boats on the river during peak hours and logged 152 man hours and 86 boat hours over the three-day weekend.  Deputies responded to three Boating Under the Influence of Intoxicant calls.  One culminated in the drowning death of a SeaDoo operator adjacent to Collins Beach on Sauvie Island, while the other two resulted in BUII arrests.

Deputies also were  able to make 28 boater contacts on the water, as well as assisting two boaters with disabled vessels.  Deputies were also the first to respond to Collins Beach on an additional medical assist--a day after they had responded to the same area on a BUII drowning.

"We prepared for this weekend with additional personnel to handle the expected increase in boaters during the holiday weekend," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.  "The extra staff enabled us to increase the number of positive contacts on the water, as well as to conduct the criminal and death investigations involving operators who were boating under the influence.

"The extra people on the water paid off for us, especially with the beautiful weather that drew even more people to the water for the three-day weekend," the sheriff said.

Marine Deputies responded to this location on Collins Beach, the day after a  SeaDoo operator drowned.  The call shown here was for a medical assist on the beach.

 

 
CCSO Detective Nabs Theft Suspect at Airport PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 16:40
On Tuesday, a Columbia County Sheriff's detective, acting on a lead, arrested the son of a man who had been jailed  on a domestic violence arrest, after the former had stolen a reported $32,800 from his father while he was incarcerated.

Freddie K. Sandusky, 22, Springfield, was taken into custody as he was preparing to board a flight to Hawaii at the Portland Airport at approximately 10:00 Tuesday morning.  He had been on the run for two weeks, and reportedly has spent and/or gambled away 40 percent of what he had stolen.   Investigators have recovered approximately $19,000 since locating the suspect.

The case began August 14, when deputies responded to the scene of a domestic violence call. Sandusky's father, Dennis A. Newman, 59, Scappoose was taken into custody for Assault and for being a felon in possession of a weapon.  Sandusky was listed as the victim in this case.  Once deputies learned that Newman had a large amount of cash back at the house, he was transported back to the house, only to find the cash (and Sandusky) had already disappeared.

Acting on a Lead that Sandusky might be heading to Hawaii, a Columbia County Sheriff's detective responded to the airport and found Sandusky headed to the airline after checking in.

"This is a case where our deputies had compassion on the man they had just arrested and acted in his interest, even though the victim himself had previously committed a crime," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. "The good police work on the part of our people to find the suspect and recover some of the money is noteworthy, even when the victim is also a suspect in another matter."
 
Sheriff Sends SAR Members to Jefferson Wilderness to Aid in Search Efforts PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 09:47
As the search for a missing hiker continues in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, a 6-member crew from the Columbia County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team has joined the effort.
 
Ronald Ohm, 52, of Portland was hiking with two others last Thursday when he decided to stay behind to take photos while his companions went ahead to start a camp on Russell Lake about a mile north of Mount Jefferson.

Ohm never arrived at the camp. His friends called for help Friday evening.
 
                                                  
   CCSO SAR Camp Near Jefferson Wilderness               
 
Last night, Sheriff Jeff Dickerson dispatched Undersheriff Andy Moyer and a crew of 5 volunteer search team members to help in the expanded effort to find Mr. Ohm. "We want to do what we can to send trained search and rescue team members into the area to assist with this search," he said.
 
Volunteer team members from Columbia County include: Terry Martin,  57, St. Helens; Michelle Jenkins, 31, Vernonia; Joe Jenkins, 34, Vernonia; Steve Reddington, 53, Kelso, Wash.; and, Al Bernal, 46, Scappoose.
 
The team brought relief to teams that had been searching to no avail since the weekend.  The sheriff expects the team to return Wednesday.

 
 
 
  
Terry Martin                    Michelle Jenkins              Joe Jenkis
 
 
  Al Bernal                      Steve Reddington
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 10:39
 
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