News and Press Releases
City of Rainier Overseeing Memorial Preparations for Chief Ralph Painter PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 January 2011 16:35
Public safety agencies planning to participate in the memorial procession and service for fallen Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter and who are looking for advance information for scheduling purposes will be able to find that information here on our website once those plans have been finalized.

The direct contact for information about memorial service logistics is the City of Rainier, Oregon, and their mayor, Jerry Cole. The city is working with an incident management team to assist them with logistics for the procession and memorial service.  The Sheriff’s Office is overseeing the criminal investigation and issues associated with it, and we have made ourselves available to the City of Rainier to assist them with any need that they might have in their planning process.

The Sheriff’s Office has received information that the City of Rainier is planning on providing a link on the city’s website that will include the latest information on the memorial service for Chief Painter
Memorial Set for Fallen Rainier Police Chief PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 January 2011 18:36
Planning for the Memorial Service for Chief Ralph Painter is in full swing.  Planners have designated the Service to begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, January 14 at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland Campus. The campus is located at 5000 North Willamette Blvd. in Portland.

A public visitation at the casket of the fallen police chief will be held at the Rainier City Hall on Thursday, January 13 between noon and 6 p.m.

In addition to other fund raising and relief efforts in memory of Chief Painter, a special fund sponsored by the Columbia River Fire & Rescue Volunteer Association is accepting tax exempt donations to defray the cost of the memorial service.  Donations in the name of the Chief Ralph Painter Memorial Service can be brought to any Fire Department in Columbia County, the United Way of Columbia County, or the Rainier City Hall.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 January 2011 18:41
Rainier Police Chief Slain PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 January 2011 10:39

A reported disturbance at a Rainier car audio shop turned deadly yesterday when the responding officer got into a struggle with a suspect, and was killed by gunshot.

Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter responded to the disturbance at 75938 Rockcrest Street in Rainier, the location for Rainier Sound Authority. Chief Painter made contact with the suspect at the store and a struggle ensued. The officer was wounded with a gunshot and later was pronounced dead.

Police agencies from Every Columbia County law enforcement agency responded, as did officers and deputies from the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, Longview Police Department and the Washington State Patrol.

 Columbia 911 took the initial call and helped guide the law enforcement response and media frenzy that followed.  Tactical dispatchers from Columbia 911 assisted at the scene.

 The Sheriff's Office is the Incident Command for the massive public safety response, including the subsequent investigation.  Investigators from the Oregon State Police are providing the primary assistance to the investigation through the Columbia County Major Crimes team. The lone Columbia County Sheriff's detective is assigned to the team.

Sheriff's Office to Deploy New Radar Reader Board PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 January 2011 17:22
Seeking to make the most of limited funding, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office is deploying a radar reader board into county areas where it has been traditionally difficult to staff with regular patrols, but where traffic problems and speeding are regular complaints.

The new radar reader board will augment the traffic radar trailer the Sheriff's Office shares with local police agencies, and comes with new capabilities to assist the Sheriff in planning traffic safety initiatives in rural county locations.

"This new equipment will be deployed in rural areas that don't see a lot of law enforcement to help keep speeds down," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "The computer system it has on board, will give us detailed information about the scope of the speeding and traffic problems in a given area, and help our supervisors decide on the best use of limited enforcement personnel where the real problems are."

The on-board computer can tabulate traffic volume, number of speeding cars, daily average speeds, and weekly vehicle and speed violator counts, to name a few of the reports that can be generated.

"It is our goal to promote traffic safety county-wide, and especially in those areas that don't see as much enforcement as perhaps some others do," the sheriff said.

Citizens who believe their roadways could benefit from the radar reader board's presence are encouraged to contact the sheriff's office at (503) 366-4611 to speak to a patrol supervisor about scheduling the device in their areas.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 January 2011 17:32
Two Deputies, State Trooper honored at State Sheriffs' Association Banquet PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 December 2010 07:40
Two Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies and an Oregon State Police trooper were honored in Bend Wednesday, December 8 at the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association annual awards banquet.

Deputy David Peabody, Reserve Deputy Greg Brody and Trooper Justin Oxenrider were each awarded the statewide organization’s Distinguished Action Award for their bravery and quick action that saved the life of A 38-year-old farm worker who had been seriously injured in a bull attack in June.

Back on June 27,  Oxenrider was stopped by residents along Highway 30, who told him a bull was attacking a man in a field by 35510 Millard Road. Oxenrider was joined by Peabody and  Brody who all observed  Homero Cortez Ortega lying on the ground with stomach wounds and a large bull standing over him.

Oxenrider grabbed his patrol shotgun,  Peabody and Brody took their patrol rifles, discussing how to get the bull away from Ortega.

But then shortly after approaching the wire fence, Ortega began to sit up in an effort to escape. The officers yelled at him to lay back down, but it was too late. Instantly, the bull attacked Ortega again, lifting him off the ground and tossing him “like a rag doll” 10 to 15 feet in the air.
The officers opened fire on the bull, intending to get the bull to move away.

Despite hitting the farm animal with multiple bullets and buckshot, it continued to stand its ground. The officers made the decision to kill the animal and fired again, causing the animal to fall to the ground, as Brody made his way to the injured man and administered first aid,while summoning a Lifeflight helicopter. Reserve Deputy Brody is a paramedic with the Columbia River Fire and Rescue District.  He described the near complete evisceration of the victim as the worst injuries he has seen on a patient who was still alive when he arrived.

Lifeflight transported the victim to a hospital where he later recovered.  Mr. Ortega later credited the quick action of the officers with saving his life.

Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said the actions of the three officers were worthy of the state sheriffs’ association’s recognition. “I am so proud to serve the citizens of Columbia County with such dedicated individuals,” he said. “The attendees at the banquet gave these three a standing ovation. They are the pride of Columbia County.”
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