About Sheriff Mark Garton
In November 2015, Sheriff Garton was humbly appointed to the office of Sheriff and just one year later, he was elected to his first term in office as the 37th Polk County Sheriff and also the youngest Sheriff in Oregon.
Mark met his wife Stefanie, while in High School. They later married and have been together for over 22 years. They have two boys, Jackson and Bryson. Stefanie has been along side Mark during his entire journey into and through law enforcement.
Before Mark graduated from Dallas High School he began his career in law enforcement, by volunteering as a Cadet for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Since becoming a cadet, Mark earned his way up through several different positions within the Sheriff’s Office. He has been a reserve deputy, corrections deputy, patrol deputy, detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, major crimes team and inter agency narcotics team supervisor, and ultimately Sheriff. Mark fully understands how the Sheriff’s Office functions from the ground up. He also knows the importance of continually engaging with the community on a variety of levels, as the community is vital to the success of an organization.
In the years leading up to 2015, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office had been depleted due to funding issues. On patrol, there were only 7 positions left, which only allowed for 10 hours of patrol coverage per day. Sheriff Garton worked on a levy to increase staffing, which subsequently passed in May 2015. Within one year after the passage of the levy Sheriff Garton and his staff were able to hire 35 personnel between the corrections and patrol divisions, which ultimately restored 24/7 patrols and increased jail staffing to adequate levels.
In 2019, the first renewal of the levy was placed on the ballot and it passed by a hefty margin of 70% to 28%, all of which validated the role of the Office of Sheriff within the community.