Learn more about the current 36 elected sheriffs in Oregon and the counties they serve.
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Sheriff Marc Heckathorn
On June 2nd, 2021 Marc Heckathorn was unanimously appointed by the County Commissioners to take over the Office of Sheriff for retiring Sheriff Jim Adkins effective July 1st, 2021.
Sheriff Marc Heckathorn has spent almost his entire life as a resident of Jefferson County. Marc graduated from Madras High School in 1994 and began to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer. After high school, Marc went to Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, majoring in Criminal Justice and receiving an Associate’s degree in June of 1996. Upon graduation from college, Marc accepted his first paid position as a police officer working as a cadet for the Oregon State Police (OSP).
As luck would have it, Marc’s first station was back in Madras patrolling the Cove Palisades State Park for OSP. At the end of summer, Marc was moved to Heppner for an assignment with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. In December that position ended, so he accepted a new assignment in Bend with OSP. For the next two years he worked on the mountains in the winter, and in the spring and fall he patrolled all of Central Oregon with an emphasis on Camp Sherman (again enforcing Fish and Wildlife laws).
In 1999, Marc transferred back to Madras with OSP and began an assignment patrolling the Deschutes River from Madras to Maupin. It was then that Marc joined the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy. In September of 1999, Marc was hired full-time as a patrol deputy and was assigned as a school resource deputy patrolling the 509-J school district. For the summer months, he was on general patrol.
In February of 2001, Marc was promoted to the rank of sergeant and took over the rural patrol program that included being the marine program manager. Marc’s responsibilities kept increasing each year; in January 2011, with the election of Sheriff Jim Adkins, Marc was promoted to the rank of patrol captain.
In 2011, Marc was the sole administrator for the patrol division. He ran the entire division which included reserves, rural patrol, general patrol, detectives, SAR, and marine. In addition, he conducted all the hiring, supervised internal investigations for the Office, and managed a budget of over two million dollars.
Marc continued with these responsibilities until September of 2016 when he was tasked with all of his regular duties plus added the title jail commander and the new rank of undersheriff. During the next five years, Marc learned a great deal about the jail, inmates, and staffing while he directly oversaw both the patrol and corrections divisions. Marc was now overseeing a budget of over six million dollars.
In 2019, a new jail commander was hired, allowing Marc to better split time overseeing both divisions. There is nothing Marc doesn’t know about the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and he is the longest-serving employee at the Office.
Additionally, Community Service has been a big part of Marc’s life. Here is just a sample of his volunteerism in his community:
Reserve Deputy for Jefferson County, Volunteer Jefferson County EMS, Madras City Councilman, Madras Airport Industrial Site Committee member, Madras Budget Committee member, Deschutes Valley Water District Budget Committee member, Jefferson County EMS Budget Committee member, Madras Aquatic Center Rec District Soccer coach, Little League Coach, Elks Lodge member, Ambulance Service Area Committee member, 509-J Citizen for District Superintendent Search Committee, among many others.
Marc lives in the same house his parents bought when he was in 6th grade and attending Buff Elementary School in Madras. Marc married his high school sweetheart, BJ Haynes, in 2001. They celebrated twenty years of marriage in March of 2021. Marc and BJ have two beautiful daughters, Alexis (18) and Breann (14). Alexis graduated from Madras High School in June of 2021, and Breann will be a freshman attending Madras High School in September.
Marc and BJ and the girls love to travel, and Disneyland was a frequent place they visited as the girls were growing up. They enjoy spending time with friends camping/boating on Lake Billy Chinook and Lake Simtustus.