Conservators of the Peace

Curry County

Sheriff John Ward

Curry County Sheriff's Office

Mailing Address:
94235 Moore Street, Suite 311
Gold Beach, OR 97444

Street Address:
29808 Colvin Street
Gold Beach, OR 97444

tel: 541-247-3242
fax: 541-247-6893

Curry County Sheriff’s site

About Sheriff Ward

John Ward was appointed by the Curry County Board of Commissioners on August 26, 2014 as the new Sheriff of Curry County effective October 1, 2014. Sheriff John Ward has held several law enforcement certificates including the Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Supervisor and currently holds a Management Certificate from the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.  Sheriff Ward has worked for the Curry County Sheriff’s Office for twenty five years and has served as a Patrol Deputy, Detective, Patrol Sergeant and Lieutenant since he was hired in November 1990.

In 2005, as a Patrol Sergeant, Sheriff Ward was assigned Search and Rescue Coordinator and has been a member of SARAC (Search and Rescue Advisory Council), a member of CORSAR (California Oregon Regional Search and Rescue) and also a member of the OSSA Enforcement Command Council.  In 2013 as a Patrol Lieutenant and 2nd in Command, Sheriff Ward was recognized by OSSA as Search and Rescue Coordinator of the Year.  Sheriff Ward has been recognized by the Oregon State Marine Board and by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association for four separate lifesaving awards.

Sheriff John Ward was born and raised in Gold Beach and raised his family there.  During his law enforcement career, he has been very active with the community and schools.  Sheriff Ward was the Gold Beach High School golf coach for four years during the time his son and daughter were in high school.

“I never imagined I would be in the position I am today as the Sheriff of Curry County, it was certainly something I never planned for.  I know the challenges we will face and I also know that we have very dedicated employees and we will do the best that we can with the resources we have.  I have worked for five different Sheriff’s during my career here at the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and I have learned from them all.  What I have learned has given me the tools to be successful with what we can control and understand and accept what we can’t control.  If you’re sincere, honest and sympathetic, then you will earn the respect the positon calls for and you will be successful.”

About the Curry County Sheriff's Office


Spring, 2017 – The 2016 year was pretty hard for us, being a small agency and having to deal with numerous high-profile search and rescue issues all year long. We were hoping 2017 would be a little kinder to us but so far it has been a continuation of 2016. Just to mention a few, we have dealt with another plane crash along the coastline that killed the single occupant. We have assisted with a young father who was swept out to sea from the beach with his three-year-old son and vanished. We had a search for an elderly woman who was picking mushrooms and became lost. We searched for her for three days in the cold, wet and snowy weather until we found her. Thank goodness for the help of the surrounding counties who sent members of their SAR teams to help find her alive and well.

With the loss of the SRS funds, according to our commissioners, our county is facing about a three million dollar shortfall in the general fund, so we were told to expect drastic cuts. It is going to be interesting this budget process because none of us elected officials or department heads have been given any idea of what really to expect other than that. Hopefully, by the time we submit our next “News Around the State,” we will have better news.

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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