News and Press Releases
Sheriff Invites Community to National Night Out Observance PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 17:04

Sheriff Jeff Dickerson is inviting the communities we serve to join us in the National Night Out observance at the Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, August 7 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Sheriff's Office Justice Facility grounds located at 901 Port Avenue, St. Helens.

Ice cream will be provided free of charge along with a host of opportunities to get to know members of the Sheriff's Office staff, learn more about opportunities to volunteer with the Sheriff's Office, and find out what you can do to improve the peace and safety of our communities.

"Last year, more than 37 million people participated in National Night Out events around the country," the Sheriff said, "we want to do our part to keep folks informed and to give them a chance to meet some of our public safety professionals up close."

 In addition to the free ice cream, the event will feature a dunk tank, Information about our jail, our enforcement team, and our other vital services.  There will be information available about supporting and/or joining one of our volunteer teams, as well.

"We also look forward to meeting with members of the community and listening to their concerns," the Sheriff said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 17:18
Dozens of Cattle Seized in Columbia County Animal Neglect Case PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 July 2012 16:54
Columbia County Sheriff's deputies today executed a search warrant on properties controlled by a South Columbia County rancher under suspicion of Animal Neglect.  Dozens of cattle were seized as part of a joint operation conducted by the Sheriff's Office and the Oregon Humane Society.  The exact number of animals seized is yet to be determined.

Deputies served the search warrant on William F. Holdner, 86, Warren, who was convicted in March of pollution charges stemming from his cattle ranching operation.  Humane Society agents also cited Holdner for Animal Neglect last November.

"We have an ongoing understanding with the Oregon Humane Society whose agents handle most of the animal abuse complaints in Columbia County that are not associated with dogs.  In this case, Humane Society agents enlisted our help in investigating these crimes and executing the search warrant," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.  "Our efforts were greatly helped by the knowledgeable OHS staff, who provided the expertise necessary to develop the probable cause for this warrant, who, as well, assisted us in identifying the cattle requiring immediate intervention."

In addition to the help of the Humane Society, the Sheriff's Office also received the assistance of the Oregon State Police, and the Scappoose and Vernonia Police Departments in executing the warrant.  The Sheriff's Office also relied on a number of volunteers in gathering the cattle and transporting them to an offsite location designed to provide for their care.

The search warrant was a collaborative effort between the Sheriff's Office, the Oregon Humane Society(OHS), the Columbia County District Attorney's Office  and the Board of County Commissioners--the latter of which needed to take action on behalf of the county to  address the care and feeding of the cattle for a protracted amount of time.

Through an agreement with the OHS,  the cost of the care for the herd will be reimbursed through OHS funding.  The Sheriff's Office developed probable cause of animal neglect after reviewing the OHS investigation.  The warrant was served on Mr. Holdner at his residence in Warren (32456 Viewcrest Drive) just after 7:00 a.m.  Subsequent locations where the warrant was executed included the following addresses in Scappoose: 34109 Johnson Landing Road and 30754 Dutch Canyon Road. The Sheriff's Office and its partner agencies provided security at the locations where the animals were seized and relied on the knowledge of veterinarians in identifying which animals to seize.

Those animals showing clear signs of neglect according to the veterinarians were seized and transported to a location identified earlier in the week where the animals could be cared for and nursed back to health.
CCSO Arrests Suspect Reported to Have Shot His Mother PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 July 2012 23:32


                                                  Suspect Robert W. Terry


Sheriff's deputies arrested the 21-year-old suspect in a Columbia County shooting incident that hospitalized his mother Sunday afternoon.

Robert W. Terry, 21, St. Helens, is in custody at the Columbia County Jail on suspicion of Assault, and his mother, Dana D. Terry, 50, St. Helens was last known to be in critical condition.

Robert Terry was taken into custody by an officer on the perimeter of the house where law enforcement had gathered after attempts to hail him from outside the residence were fruitless.  Two tactical teams -- one from Columbia County and one from Washington County had responded to the residence prior to the suspect being taken into custody at 9:50 p.m. by an Oregon State Police Trooper who had taken a position on the perimeter of the crime scene.

County Deputies and officers from the St. Helens Police Department converged on the scene just after 4:45 p.m. when a female calling from the residence at 1000 Railroad Avenue, St. Helens advised that a woman had been "shot in the stomach" by her son. The suspect was said to still be in the house, "possibly in the attic" and still with the gun, which was reported to be a .357 magnum handgun.

Deputies met the victim outside her residence and escorted her to an ambulance from the Columbia River Fire and Rescue District. She was subsequently transported by ground to Emanuel Hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Other police agencies responded to assist, as well as the multi-agency Critical Incident Response Team, which attempted to make contact with the suspect to no avail.  As the afternoon wore on into the evening, fatigue was becoming a factor for some of the officers on scene.  Local law enforcement resources had become stretched thin and additional assistance was summoned.  Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team members began arriving around 9:45 p.m., just prior to the suspect being taken into custody.

"This effort was a combined effort of a number of entities both within and outside of Columbia County," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. "Fortunately for all concerned,this incident ended peacefully after such a violent beginning.  The credit goes to all those who joined with us in bringing this to a successful conclusion."

Columbia River Fire and Rescue personnel helped with road closures and medical assistance to the victim and law enforcement officers.  Columbia 9-1-1 provided a tactical dispatcher to the scene to help the command post in managing the crime scene and the many county deputies and officers from the various jurisdictions, including:  Scappoose, St. Helens, Rainier, Clatskanie and Oregon State Police Departments. And the Sheriff also expressed his gratitude for the assistance from Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett for his willingness to help.

After Robert Terry was detained, deputies executed a search warrant at the residence, searching for criminal evidence in this incident.

Terry is being held on numerous Probable Cause charges, including: Assault First Degree, Recklessly Endanger Another Person, Pointing a Firearm at Another Person, and Menacing. His bail is set at $118,000.

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2012 23:45
Sheriff's Office Announces Summer Self Defense Classes for Women PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 July 2012 21:55

The Sheriff's Office has announced its schedule for self-defense classes for women this summer.  Each class is the same and is limited to the first 15 participants per class.  Children between the ages of 16 and 18 must be accompanied by a parent or Guardian.  We are sorry to say that we cannot accommodate children younger than 16, due to the mature content of the course.

Course dates and times are as follows:

July 14:  9 a.m to 4 p.m. (break for lunch at noon)

July 28:  9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (break for lunch at noon)

August 4: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (break for lunch at noon)

Each participant must fill out an application and waiver form which can be obtained on line under the "Your Personal Safety" section of the Sheriff's Office web site at Applications can also be picked up at the Sheriff's Office. Parents must sign the Minor Application and be present in the class in order for their minor child (age 16-18) to participate.

You must either bring the application to the Sheriff's Office or mail it to Columbia County Sheriff, 901 Port Avenue, St. Helens, OR 97051.

Mark on the application your preferences for the class dates (1st, 2nd, 3rd choices)  and submit as soon as possible.  The Sheriff's Office will advise you if your first choice is full and give you an option for second or third choice while openings still exist.

"We are excited to once again make this popular class available," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.  Call  the Sheriff's office at (503) 366-4611 with any questions about the class. Those interested in the class can also leave any questions on our citizen call-in line 24 hours a day at (503) 366-4698.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 July 2012 22:10
Three-County Search and Rescue Training Event Deemed "Huge Success" PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 June 2012 21:11

Command Vehicle Strategy Session


Team MeetingOrganizers responsible for planning and conducting a three-day, Search and Rescue training and mock search scenario are thrilled with the results.  Sheriff's Offices from Clatsop and Washington counties joined with the Search and Rescue team from host Columbia County to increase the Search and Rescue/Emergency Planning capabilities in the northwest corner of the state of Oregon. 

"This was a great opportunity for the volunteers and staffs that make up the search and rescue contingents in three counties to work together and learn from each other," said Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. "Organizers came away from the event calling it a 'huge success.'"
A total of 70 volunteers and staff representing the three county sheriffs offices converged on a desolate hill-top in a remote area between Scappoose and Vernonia to train on Search and Rescue techniques and planning and to develop better coordination among the resources in the region.
The training included a mock search event testing the skills and logistical support of the three teams assembled for the training. The scenario involved a search for two people lost in the woods. It tested tracking skills with GPS, map and compass reading, along with evidence gathering and recovery of a victim with the use of a litter to carry the victim out.  It afforded opportunities for the teams to learn more about each other and the resources available to each other when assistance is needed beyond the capabilities of any one team.
The teams spent the three days in the remote area with a mobile command center actively engaged in the training event. Teams conducted quadrant searches using state-of-the-art mapping software, radio communications and old-fashioned map and compass.  Searches were carried out over the three-day period from Friday, June 8 through Sunday, June 10.
"This type of training and cooperation is critical to the ongoing improvement of our Search and Rescue capabilities," Sheriff Dickerson said. "I am especially grateful for the help and support we received from the Washington County Sheriff's Office during this intensive training and for the commitment of Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett and Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin to make this training as valuable and effective as it was.  I expect this experience will only increase the preparedness and cooperation of Search and Rescue and emergency planning in our region."

Last Updated on Monday, 11 June 2012 21:55
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