Conservators of the Peace

Morrow County

Sheriff Kenneth Matlack

Morrow County Sheriff's Office

P.O. Box 159
Heppner, OR 97838

tel: 541-676-5317
fax: 541-676-5577
Morrow County Sheriff’s site

About Sheriff Matlack

Sheriff Matlack grew up in the Irrigon and Umatilla area and graduated from Umatilla High School in 1967. He graduated from Eastern Oregon State College in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. He was a public school teacher and coach at Powder Valley High School in North Powder Oregon until recruited by the Oregon State Police in 1974.

Ken met his wife Donna in the first grade in Irrigon and they were married shortly after high school. They have been married for 43 years and raised two daughters.

Ken was assigned and promoted to a variety of different positions in the Oregon State Police including Trooper, Detective, Detective Sergeant, and Patrol Sergeant. In 1988 he was promoted to Assistant Station Command in The Dalles and in 1993 he was assigned as Outpost Commander in Arlington and supervised State Police field operations in Gilliam, Wheeler and a small portion of Morrow County. He retired from the Oregon State Police in March 1999.

Upon retiring from the Oregon State Police, Ken received his private investigator license and worked as a private investigator in Oregon and Washington. He also worked for several years as a contract investigator with the Oregon Department of Corrections and worked at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla and Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton where he conducted background investigations on Correctional Officer and management positions.

Ken is currently serving his second term as Morrow County Sheriff and in the Fall of 2010 Morrow County Community Corrections was transferred to the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office.

About the Morrow County Sheriff's Office


Winter, 2016 – The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office was the lead investigating agency, assisted by Boardman Police Department, the Morrow and Umatilla County Major Crimes Team, Lifeflight and Boardman Ambulance on a “shots fired” call. The incident occurred in Boardman on September 11th and ended with one man dead and one suspect on the run. The deceased was Evencio Salas Birrueta, age 27. A Morrow County Grand Jury indicted a 17-year-old male juvenile for murder. The ju­venile turned himself in to police at the Kelso, Washington Police Department the next day and was later lodged at the NORCOR facility in The Dalles and charged with Murder I, Manslaughter II and Unlawful Use of a Weap­on (x2). He was originally lodged without bail. After arraignment, bail was set at $2M.

Ramiro Rosales, 36, a transient from Wash­ington State is lodged in the Umatilla County Jail on charges of Arson I (x2), Assault II and Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Reckless Endan­gering and Menacing (x2). He attempted to cut a diesel line and set the fuel on fire at the Shell Gas Station in Irrigon on the afternoon of November 6th. Citizens on the scene helped prevent a major incident. After the suspect attempted to light the diesel fuel he ran around after the other citizens, threaten­ing them with his pocket knife. They fended him off with brooms and a window squeegee. In the ensuing scuffle, one Good Samaritan lost a shoe and Rosales set it on fire, and the suspect wounded another with his pocket knife. They tackled the suspect and held him on the ground until law enforcement arrived on scene.

Morrow County Sheriff’s Office currently has two openings for patrol deputies. Law enforcement lateral applications are strongly encouraged. The application process will remain open until the positions are filled.

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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