Conservators of the Peace

Message from OSSA Executive Director

John Bishop, OSSA Executive Director & Curry County Sheriff

July, 2016 — Members, as we head into summer of this very busy and fast-moving year, I want to update you on what is happening at OSSA. Many of you may not get to see the inner workings of OSSA. Our mission is to promote, protect, preserve, enhance and support the office of sheriff as conservators of the peace in providing public safety services to the citizens of Oregon. Here at the OSSA office, employees are busy as ever meeting that mission. Julie is my right hand, heading up multiple projects, working on all aspects of the office, and of course keeping me straight. Vicky is skillfully handling membership and financial tasks, while Becca is overseeing all sheriffs’ sales, and Marianne is making sure all of our grant programs are running smoothly. We also have Debbie, who works away from the office and is responsible for this magazine (which is a huge undertaking) and for updating our ever-changing website. We have several individuals that help keep us clicking along in the I.T. world: Travis and Casey from Deschutes County, as well as Joshua, who is a private contractor for us. Debbie and I also answer numerous concealed weapons questions every day through the website. As you can see, we have a great team in place, ready to assist sheriffs and the community in a variety of ways.

Right now, the OSSA Legislative Committee is preparing for an extremely busy legislative session in 2017. There will be many issues to discuss related to law enforcement, as well as Oregon’s financial status. We are continuing to work with the federal government and the governor’s office to reimburse counties for the Harney County issue earlier this year. Other matters to tend to include civil issues around the state, concealed handgun license sales, and training for all of our councils, which includes Search and Rescue, Enforcement, Civil, Corrections, and Community Corrections. We have just completed our Deputy Academy and are already working on our highly successful Command College. OSSA works with the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to ensure attendees receive training credit for these classes. OSSA sponsorships to the colleges went out early this year, as we try to help second-year students reach their dreams of getting their degrees in Criminal Justice.

OSSA is also working with other boards and helping them serve our members and citizens. Some of these organizations include: Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon Emergency Management, Oregon Accreditation Alliance, Oregon Department of Corrections, Oregon State Police, DPSST, federal partners, Oregon Association of Mounted Posses, Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association, Police Memorial Fund, the Oregon Executive Development Institute, Oregon Officers Reward Fund, and finally, OSSA’s fund that supports deputies (or the families of deputies) who have been killed or seriously injured.

Lastly, OSSA is currently in the middle of a much-needed remodel of our offices. We will have an open house later this summer to showcase our new museum, a brand new Sheriffs Memorial, and updated office space.

These are just a few of the projects and programs we administer every day, in addition to helping each sheriff with whatever they need to serve their citizens to the best of their abilities. Your sheriffs are outstanding individuals, and they need your support now more than ever. Your membership dollars help us work for citizens across the State of Oregon.

2017 Oregon Sheriffs’ Annual Conference

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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.

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