Conservators of the Peace

Western Sheriffs address situation in HARNEY COUNTY OREGON

The Western States Sheriffs’ Association represents over 800 Sheriffs across 15 western states.  Our mission is to promote the office of Sheriff and to assist our member Sheriffs on issues of mutual concern.

The WSSA has watched, with great interest, the events that have unfolded in Harney County Oregon over the past several days.

WSSA leadership has communicated with law enforcement leaders in Oregon and with those who are on the ground working to secure a peaceful and safe community for the law abiding citizens in Harney County.

The WSSA stands ready to provide assistance to Sheriff David Ward and the incident Command team if requested.  Should a request be made, WSSA will reach out to the Western States Sheriffs in order to secure the necessary and needed resources.

The membership of the WSSA firmly believes we are a nation that recognizes the Rule of Law.  Sheriffs are charged with enforcing those laws.

The WSSA also believes it is incumbent on all citizens and local elected officials to respect and utilize the mechanisms that have been established to affect change in the laws of our nation.

Furthermore, the WSSA does not support efforts of any individual or groups who utilize intimidation, threats or fear in order to further an agenda.

The membership of the WSSA is hopeful for a peaceful end to the situation in Harney County Oregon and stands prepared to assist if called on by their Sheriff.

WSSA Response to Harney County OR

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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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