Sheriff's Office News 
A Jazzy Flashback to the Past 

Before Radios, Police Had Call Boxes


Local law enforcement leaders are discussing where to go with future radio communications.  The talks focus on the potential transition from analog radios to a digital system. Planning for the future is important work, and sometimes it is good perspective to remember where we started!


The first police call box was installed in Albany, New York in 1877, about a year after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.  Call boxes were often located on street corners.  Police used them to call into a "dispatch center" and get information about pending calls from the public for their help.


How did they know when to call in?  Lights were placed at strategic locations throughout town, often at the top of buildings.  Upon seeing an illuminated light, the officer would locate a call box and call in for information.  Later, the phones were used by police as well as the public.

The first successful one-way police radio was 

developed in the 1920s.  One-way communication meant police could hear the calls in their cars, but they would need to stop at a call box to reply. 

The earliest in-car two-way radios were created by Senior Constable Frederick Downie, a cop for the Victoria Police Department in Australia in 1923.  It was so large, the Marconi wireless sets took up the entire back seat!


Modern handheld radios have come a long way from the bulky and often fragile units of just a few years ago.  They are designed and engineered to meet a wide variety of public safety requirements.


Over the next few years, we will take another leap toward increasing inter-operability and public safety.  Then one day, probably in less than 20 years, deputies will be laughing at the "outdated" equipment we thought was the "bee's knees!"



Grand Jury Inspection of the Washington County Jail

Report Now Available


In December 2014, a Grand Jury was convened to inspect the conditions and management of the correctional institutions in Washington County.  Of the four, the Washington County Jail is the only facility under the direction of the Sheriff.  The other three facilities inspected are the Washington County Community Corrections Center (a work release center) Coffee Creek Corrections Facility (a prison) and Harkins House (a juvenile detention facility).  This inspection is required by state law (ORS 132.440).  


The Grand Jury's final report is now available for public review online.  Here is an excerpt of their comments about our jail:


Overall, the Grand Jury was impressed with the thoroughness with which each of the WCJ staff members performs their duties.  Each deputy appeared to take their responsibilities very seriously and genuinely strive to make the jail a place that gives inmates the tools to grow and become a law abiding member of society.

 - Comments from Grand Jury Final Report


We are very proud of the findings, and we thank the jury for the many hours invested in this important process.


How Can We Help Keep Our Law Enforcement Officers Safe?

Washington County was fortunate not to lose any police officers or deputies in the line of duty last year. However, the national picture is a bit different.  According to the latest Law Enforcement Fatalities Report by the National Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 126 law enforcement officers died in the 
line of duty in 2014.  Of those, 50 deaths were tied to firearms, 49 were traffic-related, and 27 were from other causes.


Traffic-related incidents are the second leading cause of police officer deaths, and this is one factor we can work to control. 


One positive trend is that 18% fewer officers were struck and killed while roadside last year.  


Please always help keep emergency personnel and others safe by following the Move Over Law




A Tribute to Deputy Robert Talburt
Thirty years ago, 184 police officers died in the line of duty across the United States. That's nearly one every 48 hours. Three were from Oregon, and one was our own Deputy Bob Talburt, who joined the Washington County Sheriff's Office on May 1, 1977.

Following 7-1/2 years of honorable service, Deputy Talburt died on December 14, 1984, when his patrol car hit a slippery patch of mud on the road and struck a power pole.  He was responding to cover another deputy on a burglary call.  It is not how he died that made him a hero -- it is how he lived.

Those who knew Bob knew a man who was honest, ethical and true to his word.  He was known for his infectious grin and comforting demeanor.  Through his daily work, he demonstrated unyielding devotion to his oath to serve this county as a Deputy Sheriff.

It is an honored tradition of law enforcement to commit to the families of the fallen officers to never forget.  Read our tribute to Deputy Talburt


Child Porn Online - What's the Harm?

A Message from Sheriff Pat Garrett 


The recent arrest of a man for downloading child pornography at a coffee shop continues to make headlines.  His case was remarkable because he was downloading the photos on free WiFi in public.  On January 12, another man was arrested in Clackamas County because he attempted to have a store employee transfer data that included child pornography.  


Even though both men have prior convictions, investigators will tell you they are not typical offenders. Most offenders are adult men who view child pornography in the comfort of their own home, hiding a double life from family and friends.


Some might think, "What's the harm? They are adults making choices to access free pictures that are available to anyone via the Internet."  I suspect the thrill would end for most if they had to imagine their daughter or son's face in those images. Can you imagine if photos were posted to the Internet of your child being raped or abused?  Police will also tell you there is no way to remove them, and each time they are downloaded, traded or viewed, that child is sexually exploited again.


Join me this year in finding a way to speak out for the protection of our children.  If you know or suspect someone is downloading child porn, alert authorities.  Encouraging Child Sex Abuse is a felony crime, designed to hold suspects accountable.  Viewing child pornography is not protected by the First Amendment.



The best way to report this crime is to call non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111, or to report it online to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cybertipline where you can remain anonymous.  


Your tips will reach a powerful network of investigators and computer forensics examiners, including those working in your Sheriff's Special Investigations and Child Abuse units.




Sheriff Pat Garrett



Related Media Information:

12/27/14 - Sex Offender Arrested for Child Pornography 

01/12/14 - Man Arrested for Child Pornography (Clackamas County)


Community News


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Drug Bust on Highway 26 Near Bethany

On January 2, a Chevy Tahoe swerved out of its lane and almost hit a patrol car on Bethany Boulevard at NW Cornell Road.  The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle as it entered Highway 26.  The driver eventually pulled over.  On contact, the deputy could see the driver was under the influence of intoxicants.  The driver gave a false name, but was later identified as a person on compact probation out of Louisiana for Murder.  A search of the Tahoe led the discovery of heroin, meth, marijuana, a scale, and other items.  The Westside Interagency Narcotics Team was called out to assist. Additional evidence indicated he may be prostituting girls in the area. Great work by all involved!



Hit and Run Driver Arrested After Crash in Beaverton

On January 2, a crash victim called dispatch to report he was following a pickup who just rear-ended his vehicle on SW Kinnaman Road at SW 175th in Aloha.  Deputies followed information relayed to them by the driver through dispatch.

They caught up with the vehicles at SW Clark Hill Road, just as the suspect's vehicle left the roadway and rolled. Deputies helped the suspect out of his vehicle and realized he was intoxicated; he was transported for medical attention for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect, a McMinnville man, has been charged with Hit and Run, DUII, and Reckless Driving.  



Passing in a No-Pass Zone -- Cornelius and Bald Peak

A young woman died in a fatal crash on SW Susbauer Road near SW Long Road, north of Cornelius on January 4 at about 10:35 am.  Crash analysis experts determined that the victim was traveling south on Susbauer in a Honda Accord that was struck head-on by a Mercedes Benz that was traveling northbound in the southbound lane while passing another vehicle in a no-passing zone. The victim died on impact. The driver of the Mercedes and his passenger were both transported with non-life-threatening injuries. The county Crash Analysis and Reconstruction Team will continue their formal investigation.


On January 6 at 7:55 am, Deputies responded to a single vehicle crash on SW Bald Peak Road. They learned the victim was the driver of an eastbound Lexus that passed a Honda Odyssey in a no-passing zone.  As the driver moved back into the travel lane, it clipped the front of the Honda, and lost control. The Lexus left the roadway, struck a dirt embankment and rolled.  The driver did not survive.

These are preventable crashes.  Please refresh yourself on No Passing Zones (including how to behave when someone is passing you).

SCAM ALERT - Home Maintenance Offers North of Beaverton

Elderly residents in the Cedar Mill area need to be leery of phone offers for home inspections.  Several residents have been contacted by a company offering $50 maintenance checks on heating systems or other home utilities.  They are using a legitimate business name from outside the area, with a phone number that does not accept return calls. 


One resident made an appointment for this service and an unmarked, run-down, white van showed up with two male suspects.  When the resident declined their services, they began acting very nervous and left.  In a similar case, another homeowner declined service of her water heater.  She later found that exterior wires had been tampered with and her water heater was no longer working.


If you see any suspicious activities, people or vehicles in your neighborhood, gather as much information as possible and call non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111.  Detailed descriptions of people and vehicles (especially license plate numbers) are most helpful.  



The Stinky Neighbor Award - Unincorporated County Areas

If there was a Stinky Neighbor Award, this month, it would go to the folks who put their garbage out after dark - in their neighbor's trash can.  Topping off your neighbor's can with your extra trash might seem like a harmless money-saving step, but your neighbors pay for their garbage service.  If you stuff their can, it can be considered Theft of Services.  Please ask permission first.  They just might let you do it.

Besides, if the issue grows to a deputy response, the deputy may have to go through trash to identify you as the culprit, and that is embarrassing. Be a good neighbor - talk to people first.



More Sheriff's Office Media Releases

01/11/15 - Woman Arrested for Prescription Fraud 


12/28/14 - Five Cornelius Resident's Displaced Due to Arson

12/24/14 - Young Children of Inmates Receive Christmas Gifts

12/21/14 - Woman Arrested After Crashing Truck Twice

12/14/14 - Deputies Arrest Juvenile Caught Ransacking Cars

12/14/14 - Car Jacking Leads to Multi-Agency Pursuit


Other County Information 

01/09/15 - TV Highway Road Construction (SW 182nd to SW 187th)

01/06/15 - Meet Your County Officials Sworn In for 2015               




Wizard of Oz?  

Wait, before you think we're morbid by showing this picture, you have to read more!

This is what deputies and firefighters saw when they responded to a car versus scooter crash.  

Then a voice from below yelled, "WAIT, DON'T CALL THE COPS, I'M DRUNK!"  And it was true. That's what caused his crash with a Geo Metro.  The guy in the boots suffered no serious injuries!

Maybe we should have called this one Believe it or Not!


Disaster Preparedness . . . in Tiny Bites


No one has time, but we all have to start somewhere.  This year.  Let's go.  This month, you won't even pack anything.


First Step: Communicating by Cell Phone in an Emergency


Longer distance calls might go through.

Local systems could be overloaded, jammed or damaged following an earthquake or other large scale disaster.  Calls to people a long distance away might go through.  Store an out-of-state emergency contact number in your spouse or kids' cell phones today; you can communicate through that contact until local calling ability is restored.


Even if you can't make calls, brief text messages might go through.

Text messages may automatically re-route to towers a long distance away.  The text might take a couple of hours in transit, but it could be your best bet to communicate with family in or near the disaster zone.

Remember, brief text messages are better than voice calls.


Nice work!  Feeling ambitious?  Bookmark this site: 


Frustrated By Bad Driving . . . or Those Who Park Illegally in Disabled Spaces?
Have you ever been frustrated by a bad driver and wonder what you can do?  Here is a solution!  

In Washington County, citizens can tell us about bad traffic behaviors they observe online.  If you include a license plate number, date, time, and location, we will follow up with a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle.  The letter will explain that a fellow motorist complained about their speeding, road rage, tailgating, etc.  In the case of aggressive driving, you can also include a description of the driver.  (Parents seem to appreciate this extra detail.)

There is also a letter for drivers who illegally use disabled parking spaces.  For instance, if a person is parked in a disabled parking space without the proper placard, you can send us a photo showing proof, as well as their license plate with a note of the date, time, and location.  We will send the registered owner a letter explaining the citation fines that would apply.  (Note: some disabled parking spaces are specifically for wheelchairs and that requires a specific placard.)

This might not work every time, but the letters are a good tool to encourage change in behavior for the better.  If you know of a chronic violator for common dates and times, we will send our Disabled Parking Enforcement Volunteers to see if a citation is appropriate.

See Something?  Say Something!
Reporting Suspicious Activity

Do you know when to call police for help?  Most of us know we should call 911 in emergencies or to report a crime in progress, but what about other situations?  

Your Sheriff's Office is kicking off a new campaign called "See Something? Say Something!" to educate residents on when and how to call police for non-emergency reasons. The goal of the campaign is to encourage people to report behaviors and activities that appear to be signs of criminal activity.  

Residents should report issues such as graffiti, property damage, neighborhood issues, and any incidents that can cause community degradation via non-emergency dispatch.  

Each quarter, we will share a new educational message on public safety, crime prevention strategies, improving communication, and building strong communities.  

Start today - save the non-emergency dispatch number in your phone, and do not hesitate to See Something and Say Something!

Of course, you can still ask questions via e-mail at any time.
                                                                                                                          Printable Flyer   

WANTED: Explorer Search and Rescue Team Applicants
Informational Meetings Scheduled 

Do you know a great kid who is ready to serve our community while learning teamwork and leadership skills that will last a lifetime?


Your Sheriff's Office Explorer Post #877 is the primary Search and Rescue team for Washington County. Explorers are young men and women, ages 14 to 20 years, who have gone through extensive and challenging training.


Learn more by visiting our Search and Rescue web site and attend one of two informational meetings for applicants and their parents.  


You are invited to attend on either of these dates at the Sheriff's Office in Hillsboro:

  • March 16, 2015 at 6:30 pm in the second floor training room
  • April 4, 2015 at 10:00 am in the second floor training room

Where Have Deputies Been Working?  
Find Out Through Crime Reports Online


This link to Crime Reports automatically opens with a view of all 

requests for police service (except traffic) in unincorporated Washington County during the last 30 days.

  • Click on this link.
  • Enter your address to view your area.
  • If you live in Banks, Cornelius or Gaston, type your city in this format: "Cornelius, OR".
  • Click on map markers to view call details.
  • Use the Advanced Search to change time periods, add traffic data, etc.

Keep in mind, these are requests for police service, not confirmed crimes.

Visit the Sheriff's Community Calendar for seasonal celebrations, FREE Training, and safety events.


Dumb Crook - Named Jimmy?

Dumb Crook - originalThis month's dumb crook is an unconventional security guard.  He pulls up to a local car lot and parks.  He doesn't know detectives are watching as he tries the door on a car.  Then he conducts a bogus security check on the windows -- the kind where he tries to jimmy them open. 

Next, he takes a short rest, then returns to one of the windows he was previously tinkering with, opens it and climbs inside.  Along the way, he trips an alarm and deputies silently respond and decide to watch for a bit. Inside, he obtained keys to the car in the lot and got inside the vehicle. Then he went back inside the building and left.  About that time, deputies decided to stop him. 

What were you doing?  Our dumb crook explains that, during a security check, he found an unlocked window to the business and an unlocked car in the lot.  Due to the coincidence, he went through the window to get the keys to secure the car.  Then he returned the keys and attempted to secure the building.  Right.  That's why the detectives were watching the car lot in the first place . . . 

This Month's "Most Wanted"  
The following people are wanted for committing crimes.  Do not approach them.  If you see them or have information to share with law enforcement, please call the Sheriff's 24-Hour Records Office at (503) 846-2700 or non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111.
For more details on the crimes they committed or their physical description, click on any photo to visit:


Washington County Sheriff's Office, Hillsboro, Oregon
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