Conservators of the Peace

Harney County

Sheriff Dave Ward

Harney County Sheriff's Office

485 Court St
Burns, OR 97720

tel: 541-573-6156
fax: 541-573-8383
Harney County Sheriff’s site

About Sheriff Ward

David Ward was appointed the new Harney County Sheriff and took his oath of office on January 2, 2015. He will serve out the remainder of Sheriff Dave Glerup’s term until the next general election in November 2016.

Sheriff Ward grew up in Drain, Oregon, a small rural community of about 1000 people in Douglas County, Oregon. After graduation, David enlisted in the United States Army where he served 21 years of combined service between active duty, the Oregon Army National Guard and the Army Reserves. During his military career he served as a Combat Medic, a PATRIOT Missile Systems Operator/Maintainer, and a Drill Sergeant, along with serving combat tours in Somalia and Afghanistan. Sheriff Ward started his law enforcement career as a Corrections Deputy with Lake County Sheriff ’s office in 2002 and also gained experience with the Oregon Department of Corrections in the Warner Creek Correctional Facility in Lake County, Oregon. In 2005, David and his family moved to Burns while he continued working for the Lake County Sheriff ’s Office until 2007, when he was hired on with the Harney County Sheriff ’s Office. During Sheriff Ward’s law enforcement career, he has been certified as a Corrections Deputy, Parole and Probation Officer, and a Patrol Deputy. During his training at DPSST, David received the George L. Tooley Top Shooter Award, Victor G. Atiyeh Outstanding Student Award, and Defensive Tactics Award.

About the Harney County Sheriff's Office


Fall, 2016 – Deputy Dan Jenkins recently graduated from the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Basic Police Academy; he was the recipient of the Victor G. Atiyeh Award at graduation.  Hines Police Officer Roxanna Ellis graduated in that same class. We are very happy to have both back on patrol.

The Harney County Sheriff’s Office recently received funding which allowed us to add another full-time patrol position which will afford us better coverage in our more rural areas of the county.  Deputy Matt Ellibee was hired out of the jail to fill that position.

Search and Rescue has had a fairly busy summer with multiple people being rescued from close calls.  In three different incidents over the summer, Search and Rescue, along with other local agencies, have managed to recover four people who would have otherwise died from the circumstances they were caught in.

In one incident an elderly woman spent the night in the Silvies River clinging to a branch and was recovered alive after multiple agency efforts.

In another, an elderly man was camping alone and was reported missing after he did not return home.  Search and Rescue personnel along with sheriff’s deputies joined in the search along with the family, and the man was found and recovered alive.  He appeared to have had a stroke and fallen down an embankment while walking about a quarter mile from his camp.

More recently a couple from outside of the area decided to go hiking and climbing in the Steens Mountains in the south end of the county. Neither person was an experienced outdoorsman or rock climber, and they became stranded on a rock face in one of the most remote areas in the lower 48.  It took a joint effort of Search and Rescue members from Lake County, Malheur County, and Harney County Sheriff’s Offices, along with the use of multiple aircraft to locate and rescue the couple.

On July 27th a man walked into a local bank with three firearms, angry over the amount he was charged on his television bill, and demanded that specific amount of money.  When offered the money, he demanded it transferred into his account. The call came in at 09:43:29 and the suspect was in custody at 09:47:12 with no one injured.  Burns Police, Hines Police, Oregon State Police, and Harney County Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to the call.

I would like to stress to the public that our agencies around the state do the best we possibly can to provide the services you need.  These folks are willing to risk injury or death in the performance of their duties, whether it be to save someone off of a cliff face, dive into debris-filled waters, carry someone out of a canyon on a back board, or take into custody a person who is armed and angry in a local bank.

However, I would like to express on behalf of the Harney County Sheriff’s Office that on occasion, due to lack of resources available during a crisis, we have to prioritize our calls and may not always be able to send a deputy immediately on a non-emergency call.

I am very proud of our local law enforcement, fire, EMS, and Search and Rescue personnel.  It is an honor to work with all of you.

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