Conservators of the Peace

Message from the President

Brian Wolfe, OSSA President & Malheur County Sheriff

Winter 2016 — It has been a pleasure to serve as the president of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association during this past year. It has been a busy year with sheriffs helping other sheriffs. With the increase in political dissatisfaction creating a real threat to the safety of law enforcement, it seems that each day we hear about men and women in law enforcement who are being killed for no reason other than some have a dislike for those who desire to serve the public. I believe that we must show that we are united as we face challenges to come.

I really cannot think about the success that the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association has had without giving thanks to some people that work very hard for all sheriffs in Oregon. First, we have the staff at the OSSA office. First is our Executive Director John Bishop who is fully invested in his position. John is always available for a call at all hours of the day and night. We have Julie Miller, Marianne Novotny, Vicky Knutson, and Becca Sloper who all work in the association office. We also must thank Debbie Spinden who puts our quarterly magazine together and works on our website. I believe that all of these great people are the unsung heroes of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association.

Elmer Dickens, who provides our legal counsel, is also a person who gives much because he cares about Oregon Sheriffs and the office of Sheriff.

Kevin Campbell works as hard as anyone I have ever seen, and there is no one any better connected in Oregon politics than Kevin.

I want to personally thank retired Oregon State Police Superintendent Rich Evans for his work in developing and maintaining positive relationships with Oregon Sheriffs. I know that Superintendent Travis Hampton will continue to work with sheriffs and assist whenever needed.

I want to thank each Oregon Sheriff for all that each of you do for your counties as well as the association.

I believe that it is imperative that we all do everything that is humanly possible to protect the office of Sheriff. We must ensure that it remains a constitutional office. We must do a better job in educating the general public of the importance of an elected sheriff and the office of Sheriff.

We have excellent team members working in the OSSA office, outstanding leaders with our new President, Sheriff Pat Garrett, Vice President, Sheriff Matt English, and Secretary, Sheriff Craig Roberts.

Again, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your president of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association.

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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