Conservators of the Peace

Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial

saluteOn May 3rd, law enforcement from around the Northwest and Canada participated in the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony held at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Academy. Governor Kate Brown and Dianne Bernhard, Executive Director of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) both spoke during the ceremony. The sheriffs from around the state attended as the name of one of their own was placed upon the wall, bringing the total number of remembered officers to 182 names.


Coos County Deputy Gil Datan.

Coos County Deputy Gil Datan’s name was added to the wall this year. Datan, age 43, died while he was on forest patrol on April 20, 2015. Deputy Datan was attempting to go up a steep embankment on his ATV when it rolled over. Datan was thrown off, and the ATV landed on its side on top of him. He was unable to free himself or call for help. Datan was found by a search team at 9:45 p.m. in rugged terrain between three and five miles from where he parked his Sheriff’s Office pickup truck. Part of Datan’s assignment as a timber deputy was to patrol forest lands between the Green Acres and Sumner Road area, which is very rough in places. The Sheriff’s Office has several contracts with agencies including the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and private timber property owners to patrol their properties.

Unfortunately, we already have one name to be added next year. Seaside Police Sergeant Jason Goodding was shot and killed while serving a felony warrant on Friday evening, February 5, 2016. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 123 names will be added to their wall of officers killed in the line of duty in 2015.


Portland Police Highland Guard,

The Oregon Memorial was initiated when a group consisting of statewide law enforcement associations began to meet in the 1980s with a single goal – to build an Oregon memorial honoring our state’s law enforcement officers who had given their lives in the line of duty. The Law Enforcement Memorial Fund was established in Oregon Revised Statute by the Oregon Legislative Assembly to build and maintain the Memorial. Through grants and donations from citizens, businesses, and law enforcement organizations statewide, the Memorial became a reality.

The Memorial was constructed on the grounds of the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Academy on the Western Oregon University campus in Monmouth. The Memorial was dedicated on May 15, 2000. It was moved to the site of the new academy in Salem and rededicated during the annual ceremony May 11, 2006.

flagsThe Memorial honors Oregon enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, some dating as far back as the 1880s. The Memorial honors all Oregon law enforcement officers including city, county and state police officers, county and state corrections officers, parole and probation officers, and other local, state and federal law enforcement agents and officers.

For more information about the memorial or events, visit

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2017 Oregon Sheriffs’ Annual Conference

Countdown to Conference


Message from the OSSA President

washington-pat-garrettAs the newly elected president, I am honored to represent all 36 Oregon sheriffs.

The sheriff has historically been the chief executive officer of the county, and this is still true under Oregon law. Elected by you and answering directly to the voters, your sheriff can be an effective voice of the people in the serious work of protecting the community. OSSA enables us to work together to serve you best.

By way of introduction, I am in my second term as the Washington County Sheriff, where deputies serve over a half million residents across 727 square miles of rural areas, urban communities, and cities. Our deputies also operate the only county jail. While Oregon counties are diverse in terms of climate, population, and economic drivers, your sheriffs work together to solve problems and challenges that we have in common.

The sheriffs of America have always played a significant role in the history of our nation; in fact, the office of Sheriff was the first county office established in the United States. Also, the first person to read the Declaration of Independence publicly was Philadelphia Sheriff John Nixon in Pennsylvania in 1776.

I look forward to working together to strengthen the office of Sheriff and the communities we proudly serve. Thank you for your continued support of the men and women on shift every day to keep our diverse and proud communities safe.


Pat Garrett
President and Washington County Sheriff.

Jail vs. Prison … What’s the Difference?

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