John Bishop, OSSA Executive Director & Retired Curry County Sheriff
It seems that 2018 is picking up where 2017 left off regarding your Sheriffs. On Monday, February 5th, the Oregon Legislature convened the 2018 Legislative Session. Unlike the six-month sessions that are held in odd-numbered years, sessions in even-numbered years move much more quickly because of the limited number of days that are established in the Oregon Constitution. As you know, in 2010 voters overwhelmingly passed Ballot Measure 71, a legislatively-referred measure that created time limited annual sessions of the Oregon Legislature. As originally intended, the short session in even-numbered years was designed to allow the legislature to make adjustments to the state budget and to fix problems with legislation adopted during the long session in odd-numbered years. For a number of reasons, the short-session expanded well beyond the original intent by entertaining substantial and often controversial legislative initiatives.
The 35-day session that is held in even numbered years is dangerous because the aggressive timelines necessitate action without full deliberation, and the politically charged election-year atmosphere doesn’t always result in thoughtful public policy. Also, due to the fast pace, vigilance is required to ensure there aren’t problematic provisions for law enforcement agencies hidden in the language of bills.
The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association is also tackling several big projects this year, and we hope to have most if not all completed by years end. Our first project is with a company called Power DMS. It is our goal with this project to have all 36 Sheriff’s Offices connected for training, information sharing, policy sharing and then individual standards for each agency. The agency then can say what they want to share with everyone, or what they want to keep in-house. The software will also keep track of who has viewed the training so that a better record can be kept of training hours. This will also let OSSA push out bigger files online such as our new Domestic Violence video with training materials. In the past, we had to make DVDs and then mail out all documents that we now will be able to make available online almost immediately, and then the Sheriff will know who has seen the video and who hasn’t. This is also where we will house our Jail Standards and Civil Manuals. Stay tuned for more on this project.
Project number two is the Oregon Sheriffs History Book. In 1992 a Sheriff’s History book was published by OSSA. This year we have started a second edition of this book by updating all of the sheriffs since 1991, and other stories. It is our goal not to change the first book, it will be to add and enhance the book with more stories, what OSSA is and does, and a couple of other features. We hoped to be finished by the end of the year.
This year we will be holding a Deputies Academy, and for the first time, we are including all disciplines of the Sheriff’s
Office. In the past we only had enforcement deputies attend due to the laws which were not taught at the normal academy, (marine, livestock, civil, etc.) Today as things have changed we realize that corrections deputies need some of this updated training as well. It also helps with relationships and networking with one another. We will be holding this academy at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) in Salem during April.
Our public lands committee has also met already this year and we are working on several plans for working with our federal partners. The wolf issue is also a high priority for OSSA, and we have reached out to the state and have offered our help with this issue.
All of us here at OSSA would like to thank you for your support. Check out our new website, and God bless our sheriffs and their deputies, and the United States of America.
Sheriff John Bishop (Retired)
OSSA Executive Director