Many OSSA member agencies — along with many city police departments and the Oregon State Police — have sent personnel to help Sheriff Ward patrol the community and maintain public safety during this critical time.
We continue to be asked when the standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge will end, and which agency will make that decision. We’d like to clarify the jurisdictional situation.
The FBI is in charge of making and implementing plans to end the siege. The FBI has jurisdiction over the armed takeover of the federal buildings in the refuge, as well as any crimes committed therein. Questions about the standoff should addressed by the FBI, which continues to work diligently towards a peaceful solution.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Ward and other local law enforcement agencies are directly addressing militia activities outside the wildlife refuge — including the well-chronicled harassment and intimidation of residents, federal employees and law enforcement by militia members and associates.
OSSA stands proud in saying that Sheriff Ward has done a commendable job fulfilling his oath as Sheriff and defending his community. Sheriff Ward has made every effort to peacefully defuse the situation and return normalcy to the residents he serves. He has worked tirelessly with his fellow law enforcement partners to develop strategies to protect and serve Harney County while the FBI continues its investigation.
OSSA and its law enforcement partners will continue to offer support to Sheriff Ward and his team until this situation is resolved. We couldn’t be prouder of the work he has done to serve Harney County and Oregon.