Conservators of the Peace

Title III Dollars

The Honorable, Senator Jeff Merkley,

The Sheriffs, in the State of Oregon are still wishing to convey to Washington how important the Title III dollars are to each county, in helping to provide emergency services to federally owned land in the State of Oregon.

The Sheriffs’ are aware you submitted an amendment and then were asked to withdraw that amendment until later and we thank you for that submittal. We would however ask that you please look at Representative Walden’s proposal when you resubmit your amendment. Representative Walden’s language for the Resilient Forest Act, also included patrols for the forest. (I have included his letter for your review)

As you are aware many counties in Oregon are struggling to provide services in there more populated areas, have little to no money to provide lifesaving services to federally owned land and the in several counties equals to more than 50% of the land. There is currently money in several counties to provide these services but they are not permitted to use this money due to the very strict rules the Forest service has placed based upon a GAO report that we feel was in error.

We all want the public to enjoy our vast lands and recreation but without some help we will not be able to provide emergency services including wildfires, there just isn’t enough general fund monies. We need to have included, Law Enforcement patrols, Firefighting, Equipment and Training costs which are directly related to the emergency services on federally owned land.

Again thank you for submitting your amendment, and we look forward to your new submittal hopefully including Representative Walden’s suggestions.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Please see attached signature page.

Title III dollars

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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