Sheriff's Office News
How to Avoid a Traffic Ticket in January

Sheriff Pat GarrettHello Citizens of Washington County,


Why are we telling you how to avoid a traffic ticket?  Because voluntary compliance is more efficient than trying to stop every driver.  Plus, we find that citizens will generally follow the rules of the road if they understand them.


So here is the little article that can save you from being pulled over, especially in the coming weeks as deputies, troopers, and multiple city police departments join in a regional "Move Over" Mission.


Following The "Move Over Law"

Drivers are required by law  to "move over" when approaching emergency responders stopped with lights flashing in the road or on the shoulder. Emergency responders include police, fire, ODOT roadside assistance, ambulances, tow trucks, etc.


  • On a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction, drivers must move into a lane that is not adjacent to the flashing lights. Do not drive in the lane next to the stopped vehicles.
  • If you cannot safely change lanes or you are on a road with one lane in each direction, reduce your speed to 5 mph below the speed limit. SLOWER will never be an issue.

The idea is to create a safety buffer of space between your vehicle and those stopped in the road or on the shoulder. If you slow down, you may be able to safely shift within your lane to Add a descriptionthe left to give more space.


Being stopped roadside is dangerous, just ask Deputy Richards, Deputy Upton, or Deputy McLeod, who have been struck while enforcing traffic laws, not to mention all those with close calls that required them to leap to safety. All of the participating agencies have stories.



Challenge:   We challenge you to make our mission a "flop" in terms of stops.  Tell your friends, family and coworkers about the Move Over Law and help them avoid a traffic ticket too!



 Pat Garrett's signature 


Sheriff Pat Garrett

Please help us serve you better - answer our quick 2-question survey about Sheriff's Office News before you close the newsletter  - Marcy
When Should I Call 9-1-1?
Reader Questions Answered
WCCCA Dispatcher at workEveryone is taught to "dial 9-1-1 for emergencies", but what constitutes an emergency?  
Generally, call 9-1-1 to report crimes in progress and any time there is an imminent threat to life or property.  For example, a person breaking into a car, any physical fights, a traffic crash with likely or apparent injuries, a DUII driver, shootings, domestic violence or other assaults that just happened, or any time your safety or the safety of another person is being threatened.
It also helps to know when to call the non-emergency dispatch number (503) 629-0111.  Call your "non-number" to report abandoned vehicles, loud music or party complaints, theft, non-injury or non-blocking traffic crashes, illegal parking, and crimes where the suspect is no longer present.  Non-emergency calls will still be dispatched or transferred as appropriate to get you quick and thorough service.
Calling the right number ensures our 9-1-1 dispatchers can better prioritize calls and get emergency help when you need it most.  Your non-emergency call may take a little longer for dispatch to answer, but please, do not hang up!

Community News


stack of newspapers 366x600Property Owners Assaulted South of Hillsboro

On January 6, a deputy was dispatched to a call involving an assault with a weapon on Minter Bridge Road in Hillsboro.  The owner reported that he encountered two strangers trespassing on his property and went to talk with them.  They ended up assaulting the owner and his friend, including striking them with a piece of rebar.  All four men fought and the suspects fled the area on foot.  The suspects are both white adult males, medium build, wearing black hats facing backward and blue jeans.  One is about 5'10" wearing a gray hooded coat or sweatshirt with a square pattern on the front.  The other is about 5'6" to 5'10" and was wearing a black hoodie. If you have information, please call detectives at (503) 846-2500 or non-emergency dispatch (503) 629-0111.


DUII Pursuit from Newberg to Tigard

Just after midnight on January 6, Newberg Dundee police requested Washington County assistance in stopping a DUII driver on Highway 99; Sherwood and King City police responded.  The driver changed routes continuing onto Elwert and then Eddy Road, then northbound on Roy Rogers, at which time Sherwood ended their involvement.  A deputy then joined the pursuit as it went through the Bull Mountain area and continued into Tigard.  The suspect vehicle finally stopped with deputy intervention on Bonita Road at Fanno Creek.  The suspect was taken into custody by Newberg police and charged with DUII, Attempting to Elude Police, and Reckless Driving.  This is an excellent example of seamless interagency cooperation as the pursuit crossed through multiple jurisdictions.


Proactive Policing Leads to Drug Busts

On January 2, just after midnight, a deputy tried to contact the occupants of two suspicious vehicles on NW Sell Road near NW Turk Road.  As the deputy pulled up, the truck stayed put and the other vehicle drove away (to be stopped by a second deputy in the area).  The pickup driver was evasive about why she was in the area.  The deputy arrested her for possession of methamphetamine and took her to jail.  When he returned to check on the truck, he found an adult male sleeping in the truck bed.  He was wanted on a warrant, so the deputy made another delivery to jail.  It appears the parties met to close a drug deal.  The investigation is continuing.


More Proactive Policing, More Drugs Seized - Aloha

On New Year's Eve at 2:30 am, a deputy observed a vehicle parked on SW Marlin Drive at Farmington Road.  The driver-side door was open and the driver appeared to be unconscious in the driver seat with a rifle.  As multiple deputies converged, the driver awoke and took off eastbound on SW Farmington Road.  The driver went into oncoming lanes to try to ram a deputy traveling in the opposite direction, but eventually crashed in the driveway of a residence at SW 194th Terrace and SW Farmington.  He was taken into custody.  Two additional rifles were found in the trunk of his vehicle, and all three rifles turned out to be stolen.  A large amount of methamphetamine was found in the driver door, and multiple items of suspected stolen property were seized from the vehicle.  So far, the driver has been charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Possession of Meth, Reckless Driving, Attempting to Elude Police, Assault II, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, a Clackamas County warrant (Theft I, Meth Possession, Theft II, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle) and a Beaverton Municipal Court warrant (for failing to appear in court on Theft III charges).


No Such Thing as a Routine Traffic Stop - Aloha

Deputies know there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop, but this call was shocking.  On December 29, a deputy attempted a traffic stop of a red Dodge Charger for multiple traffic violations on SW Menlo Drive at SW Allen Boulevard.  As the driver attempted to elude police, he would not allow his passengers to exit the vehicle.  During the pursuit, one of the passengers literally jumped out of the moving vehicle and "bounced" off the asphalt.  The deputy immediately stopped to render aid to the jumper, and the driver got away for the moment.  The driver was arrested less than a week later  for multiple crimes: Kidnap II, Attempting to Elude Police in a Vehicle and on Foot, Reckless Driving, and Reckless Endangering.


Stories You May Have Missed

01/13/14  Woman Struck by Pickup Dies 

01/10/14  DUII Driver Hits Pedestrian 

01/05/14  Project Lifesaver Helps Locate Missing Woman

01/03/14  Holiday Period DUII Safety Results

12/28/13  Man Arrested after Terrorizing Bus Passengers

12/28/13  Crash Leaves Two Cousins Seriously Injured

12/27/13  Joint WCSO and TVF&R Training


View Sheriff's Office Media Releases
Here's a fun little site to scan when you have a chance!  Detectives are seeking help from the public in identifying a number of people from pictures on our Can You ID Me? page.
The people in the pictures are persons of interest or potential witnesses to a crime. Some of them just happened to be present right before or after an incident. They may have seen a car or a person, or noticed a detail that would solve a crime.
Please take a look at the photos and consider whether you can help. We can keep your information confidential. To give your feedback, please click on any photograph and an e-mail form will open, or call the Washington County Sheriff's Office (503) 846-2500.

No Checkpoints in Oregon


DUI Checkpoint signCould this happen here? Voluntary Government Checkpoints Spark Backlash, by USA Today, January 7, 2014.


The checkpoints described in this article would be illegal in Oregon.  Oregon law authorizes police to conduct a traffic stop only after police have probable cause that a violation or crime has occurred in order to initiate a traffic stop, or reasonable suspicion that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime.  This means sobriety or other types of random checkpoints are illegal in Oregon (and 11 other states).


We also have further safeguards in place at the Sheriff's Office. Deputies are not allowed to work for another agency in a law enforcement capacity, nor wear any part of their official uniform during outside employment.  In fact, if an employee wants to have a second job, they must annually seek approval by command in writing to ensure the duties do not overlap with Sheriff's Office duties.  For example, they cannot be private investigators, bouncers, security guards, etc.


The Oregon Court of Appeals found that checkpoints violate the Oregon Constitution, in a case decided in 1987, Nelson v. Lane County.



Because We're Neighbors

Updates from Your Crime Prevention Team


Crime Prevention logo 


Building Livable Communities Starts at Home (Your Home)


Whether you live in the suburbs, in an apartment, or on a farm, you have neighbors.  One way to start positive relationships it to introduce yourself to them and it's never too late!


The best time to meet your neighbors is when there are no problems.  Stop during your walk, give a wave to say hello, or start a casual conversation.  Once you know a person, it is much easier to ask questions or to talk about a problem, than if you have never met them before.  People move about every five years, so take advantage of the chance to introduce yourself as soon as you move to a new neighborhood or a new family joins yours. 


However, if a conflict arises that you do not feel comfortable dealing with on your own or if you have a question, your Sheriff's Office wants to help.  You can contact the neighborhood expert for your area by phone or email and we will share our neighborhood wisdom or help you find some great resources!



Burglaries in unincorporated Washington County, December 2013Burglaries in Unincorporated Washington County (Residential and Business)


Neighborhood Watch groups often are interested in seeing the number of burglaries for the past 30 days.  Clicking on the map (right) will produce a larger version and more details on page 2, so you can see if any are in your neighborhood.


Keep in mind that this list includes break-ins of vacant outbuildings, sheds, and homes under construction, so people are not always in danger.  Also, we have arrested suspects in some cases; others detectives are still working hard to solve.  Burglaries can take months to solve as investigators work to identify patterns of behavior that can lead to a suspect identification.


If a homeowner has pictures or serial numbers of stolen items, it can help detectives identify and return them more quickly.  For more information about how to mark your possessions, visit Operation ID.


The safest communities have neighbors watching out for one another and their property. 



Sheriff's Office Training - Because Knowledge EmpowersFreeTraining - How to Protect Your Child from Abuse


Child sexual abuse is no longer the silent family secret.  Most often the aggresor is someone your child knows and trusts - a person most parents would never suspect.  We have updated our popular Recognizing Child Molesters training to include even more information and current case examples to help you learn skills to keep your children safe.  


We have two upcoming chances for you to join Sheriff's detectives and crime prevention experts for this free training:

  • Thursday, February 6, at 7:00 pm at Christ Methodist Church, 12755 NW Dogwood Street in Portland
  • Thursday, February 20, at 6:30 pm at Tobias Middle School, 1065 SW 206th Ave in Aloha

Adults are welcome, but no one under 18 due to subject matter.  To RSVP or for more information by e-mail or call (503) 846-2579.


Visit our Community Calendar for details and other types of FREE Training and Safety Events

Updates:  New Traffic Citation and Increased Fine
Spotlight on a gavel.
Smoke-Free Cars for Minors
It is now illegal for Oregon drivers to smoke cigarettes with a minor in their vehicle.  A minor includes anyone under 18 years old.  This is a secondary offense with a fine of $250, so police must pull a driver over for a primary offense before writing a ticket for the smoking law.  If you get pulled over again, the maximum fine jumps to $500.
Lawmakers Raise Traffic Fine
Dnt txt n drv
The maximum fine for using a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving is now $160, up from $110.  This includes texting.  The hands-free devices are much less expensive and they let you keep your eyes on the road.  Buy one!
Deputy Sheriff Jobs Open for Applications February 8-21
 A montage of Sheriff's images-a crash, a deputy in her vehicle, a cruiser
We will accept applications for entry level patrol and jail deputies as well as lateral transfers from other agencies.  Apply online beginning Saturday, February 8, 2014.

 What is the Difference - Burglar or Robber?


Cartoon thief running with a bag of loot. A burglary generally involves entering a building to commit a crime such as theft, assault, or harassment. A robbery generally involves threatening a person or using force in order to take property from them, such as pointing a gun in order to steal a vehicle.


So the McDonald's "Hamburglar," who played tricks and stole unattended burgers, really wasn't a burglar at all, but "Hamthief" isn't very catchy.


"Robble, robble."

Dumb Crook - originalDumb Crook


Recently a dumb crook broke into a store and stole cash and property.  As he took off with the goods, he left a personal item behind.   When police arrived, they found his cell phone.  It was easy to identify the owner name and address, but they didn't need GPS to find the place.   About that time, our dumb crook realized his mistake and he cooked up a plan.  He called police to report it stolen!   They came, they interviewed, they arrested.  

Please help us serve you better - answer our quick 2-question survey about Sheriff's Office News before you close the newsletter. - Marcy
Washington County Sheriff's Office, Hillsboro, Oregon
Nationally Accredited by CALEA since 2004

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