Sheriff's Office News

Shocking Photos of Crash on Highway 47

On Thursday, September 24, just after 8:00 am, a Yamhill woman in an SUV crossed into oncoming traffic for an unknown reason on Highway 47 at Patton Road, just south of Forest Grove.  Her SUV crashed head-on into a semi truck loaded with corn.  The semi then crashed into a third vehicle causing severe damage.  

The SUV driver was transported to OHSU via LifeFlight.  The other drivers were taken to area hospitals; we believe neither sustained life-threatening injuries. The County multi-agency Crash Analysis and Reconstruction Team is investigating.

No matter the cause of this crash, the photos will give you pause to reflect on your own driving habits.  

Same Service Levels, Same Tax Rate
Measure 34-236 Affects All County Residents

Sheriff Garrett
It's hard to believe the Washington County Public Safety Levy will be on the November ballot for renewal already. This levy funds many core public safety system services that benefit all county residents, including rural, urban, and city residents.

For the Sheriff's Office, this five-year levy maintains current patrol and investigative services and keeps the only county jail open at full capacity. Is also supports many special enforcement teams, including Mental Health Response Team services. With both a deputy and a mental health professional in the patrol car, there is more opportunity for problem solving on scene and less risk of a situation escalating. This team also provides follow-up with individuals to ensure they are getting connected to the services and support they need.
Countywide Public Safety Levy

You may see in the materials that the levy also funds shelters that serve women and children who are victims of domestic violence. These shelters can be the only real opportunity for victims to break the cycle of domestic violence.

The renewal is proposed at 42 cents per $1,000 assessed value. This number 
may seem familiar. It is the same rate since this levy was first approved by voters in 2000, despite the increased service demands of a growing population. That's a 15-year record with no proposed increases.

Please feel free to ask questions, or to request a speaker for your community group. We want you to have the information you need.


Sheriff Pat Garrett
When in Doubt, Keep His Eyes from Popping Out! 

School zone signs have changed and generally make it easier to do the right thing. Deputies want to be sure you know when you must slow down:
  • When school speed signs are flashing.
  • On school days, 7 am to 5 pm, as posted on signs adjacent to school grounds.
  • When children are present - meaning during school hours or when children are in a crosswalk not adjacent to school grounds, waiting to enter the crosswalk, or a crossing guard is present. Drivers must also stop and yield to students who are crossing and when a crossing guard signals you to do so.  
Remember, children can be unpredictable. When in doubt, please keep the deputy's eyes from popping out - drive 20 mph!  You will avoid a costly citation and keep everyone safer.

Safe Routes to School
The Washington County Safe Routes to School program has partnered with the Sheriff's Office to increase awareness of school zone speed enforcement and the impacts of exceeding posted speeds.  Visit the website.
Sheriff's Crime Scene Experts Also Support City Police

Crime Scene Technicians are civilian employees who assist deputies, detectives, and local police officers with processing crime scenes. You will often see our techs taking photographs, collecting evidence, processing the scene for latent fingerprints, writing reports, and sometimes testifying in court.

TV can be misleading. Their work is not always glamorous. Crime Scene Techs may be required to attend autopsies, fingerprint deceased people, and even wade into rivers to retrieve bodies for evidence. In our county, Crime Scene Techs mainly respond to property crimes calls, such as burglaries or thefts from vehicles, or to assist with evidence collection at major crime scenes. The good work of our crime scene experts is important because it supports a successful criminal prosecution. They also help train new recruits and educate the public at special events.

Crime Scene Techs are a countywide resource; they can be called to action by the Sheriff's Office or any city police department in our county. In 2014, our Crime Scene Techs responded to over 500 calls; almost 20% of the calls were assisting city police departments.
Bounce Back Faster from Disaster

September is National Preparedness Month, and we have some great ideas to help you prepare now to recover faster from disaster. Our quality of life after an earthquake will depend on how well-prepared you and your neighbors are. Ready, set, make a plan!


Quake Up! Saturday, October 10, 9:00 am - 1:30 pm

Hillsboro Civic Center and Farmers Market

A major earthquake off the Pacific Coast is expected and can strike at any time. Those who live in the Northwest are especially vulnerable. Quake Up! will give Washington County residents important information, resources, and step-by-step planning tools to survive and recover when the "big one" hits. This free event is organized by the Washington County Citizen Participation Organization Program with the support of Washington County Emergency Management and many other community partners.  Printable flyer.


Give us Your Input on Natural Hazards Mitigation

Washington County is at risk from a variety of natural hazards, including severe weather, earthquakes and wildfires. The Washington County Natural Hazards Mitigation Action Plan seeks to identify activities that can lessen their impacts. We invite you to complete a brief survey by October 1, 2015.  More.


Recent articles:

One Jail Serves Washington County 

All deputies and city police officers in our county bring their arrestees to the Washington County Jail for intake and detention. This jail has a capacity of 572 jail beds, and we book (process) about 18,000 people per year.

The Washington County Jail operates at full capacity, with about 49 new offenders arriving each day. When jail beds are full and no other release options are available, the jail is forced to release inmates. Jail staff strive to release inmates who have the strongest ties to the community and who pose the lowest risk to public safety compared to the other inmates being held. Jail staff members perform a risk assessment to determine which inmates should be released.

In 2014, the jail force-released 243 inmates. This is 65% less than the prior year, despite a steady booking rate over the 2013-2014 period. This suggests collaboration with our judicial and community corrections partners each year have resulted in more efficient use of system beds.
Community News

Exploding Couch?
09-25-15 -- Bald Peak Road -- Residents reported being awakened just after midnight to an explosive noise, followed by fire, and a fleeing truck. Deputies arrived to find an exploded couch with other evidence about 50 feet away in a nearby field. The incident is under investigation. If you have information, please call non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111.

Wanted Felons Captured Following Four-Agency Pursuit 
09-22-15 -- Near Tigard -- Multiple deputies assisted OSP at the conclusion of a pursuit. West Linn Police were in pursuit of a motorist who was wanted on a warrant. An OSP trooper took over when the driver entered Highway 217. The pursuit ended at the Washington Square Hotel (formerly the Shilo Inn) where the male driver and female passenger bolted from the car to the hotel room. Deputies stood guard around the perimeter of the hotel room as the OSP trooper successfully arrested the male and took him into custody without incident. In addition to the arrest warrant, he was charged with Attempting to Elude Police, Reckless Driving, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, and Recklessly Endangering.  He is also being held on a probation violation from Multhomah County.

A Lake Oswego Police K-9 team attempted to track the female, but was not successful. A short time later, the female passenger was captured and arrested on her warrant for failing to appear in court on a probation violation.  Excellent cooperation among all agencies involved.

Jiffy Lube Fire off NW Cornell Road
Fire Put Out in a Jiffy
09-25-15 -- Cedar Mill -- A passerby reported the Jiffy Lube building was on fire. Responding deputies arrived to find a wall of arborvitaes were fully engulfed in flames on the south side of the building. TVF&R crews quickly put out the fire and turned off nearby gas. The fire investigator believes the fire was caused by someone improperly extinguishing a cigarette.  

Three Cars and Three Times the Legal Limit
09-11-15 -- Aloha -- Multiple deputies responded to an injury crash at SW 198th Avenue and SW Alexander Street. During the investigation, deputies learned the suspect vehicle had crashed into a Chevy Tahoe at the intersection, then "pin-balled" off of a Honda Civic before continuing east on SW Alexander Street. Amazingly, only one driver suffered a minor injury. The suspect was arrested on many charges, including Hit and Run, Eluding a Police Officer, Reckless Driving, and DUII. The driver's blood alcohol concentration was over three times the legal limit.

Bike Helmet Likely Saved Her Life
09-19-15 -- Cedar Mill -- Remind your kids to wear helmets! A young girl was racing a boy down the street on her bicycle. When she realized she was going to beat him, she let go of her handle bars and threw her arms up in victory . . . just before running into the side of a car at the next cross street. She hit the side of the vehicle hard enough leave an impression. The responding deputy found her laying on the ground crying. She was transported to the hospital and thankfully able to be released the next day. It appears her helmet saved her from potentially fatal injuries.  

Phone Scammers Claim to be from the Sheriff's Office
09-09-15 -- Hillsboro -- Two elderly residents reported that a male called and claimed to be from the Washington County Sheriff's Office. The caller said they needed to pay a fine for missing jury duty and they should wire the money to him. Law enforcement agencies do not call people to demand payment. If you receive a call like this, please call non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111. Media Release.

Sheriff's Office Media Releases
First Rains Cause Slick Roads and Multiple Crashes

Lubricants and oil drip from cars and accumulate on the road surface until they are washed away.  The first rains of the season break the oils loose, creating dangerously slick streets. Deputies responded to several crashes this morning, including the one pictured below.

Today, Southwest 175th Avenue north of Scholls Ferry Road was closed due to a rollover crash, following the first rains of the season.  Please slow down, and increase your following distance, no matter what type of vehicle you drive.

Glencoe Road at West Union to close mid-October
Realigned Groveland Road is now open
Scoggins Valley Road closed until mid-October

Happy Endings 
Elderly Rock Creek Woman Quickly Located

On September 20, a family called 9-1-1 to report their elderly mother had not returned home from her evening walk. The son stated his mother had Alzheimer's disease and worried for her safety. Less than two hours later, a deputy was exiting Highway 26, westbound onto NW Cornelius Pass Road.  While keeping his eyes peeled for the missing woman, his headlights reflected off of what appeared to be white hair on a person off of the highway exit. He found the woman stuck behind a chain-link fence and tangled in blackberry bushes. The deputies freed her from the spiky shrubbery and returned her safely home.

Deputies were able to quickly begin searching for this woman because they accessed photos and identifying information because she was enrolled in the Sheriff's Help Me Home program. This program is geared toward adults and children who may become lost and have difficulty communicating vital information about themselves. The database enables deputies to search by physical or other characteristics to learn the person's identity and caregiver information.

Your Sheriff's Office also administers Project Lifesaver for all Washington County residents. This program provides electronic tracking bracelets for children or adults with memory-related illnesses who tend to wander from the safety of caregivers. Each bracelet has a transmitter with radio-frequency tracking equipment.

The family in this week's case did the right thing by registering their mother in the Help Me Home program, and calling 9-1-1 immediately. These are just a few ways your Sheriff's Office proudly serves you and your vulnerable family members.
Upcoming Events with Your Sheriff's Office

A Career in Law Enforcement

Join us for this informational event to learn more about a career in law enforcement. You will have an opportunity to hear from Patrol and Jail Deputies about their experiences, learn steps you can take to join our team, and have a chance to tour the Sheriff's Office.

Apply online October 3-16.

Prescription Drug Turn-in Events -- September 26
Locations:  Cornelius Police Department and 
                  Bales Marketplace in Cedar Mill

The service is free and anonymous -- no questions will be asked about the medications that are surrendered.  View flyer.

Power Curve, Women's Safety Fair -- October 17

A free, hands-on, self defense course geared towards women age 14 and older. Tactics are taught by Sheriff's Defensive Tactics instructors. A safety fair will also be presented by Sheriff's Community Outreach Specialists.  Register online or call (503) 846-2774. Class size is limited.  
Crime Reports icon
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.

Believe it or Not!

A deputy witnessed a car driving erratically and stopped the driver. She was belligerent and claimed she absolutely was not drunk.

She agreed to take roadside sobriety tests. A second deputy had to stand behind her while she performed the tests, to make sure she didn't fall over. She failed the tests and was arrested for DUII.  

At the jail, the woman could be heard saying, "I wish I was sober to deal with this *&^! "  [Expletive omitted.]

After a long morning of claiming she was not drunk, she ended the day wishing she were sober!   
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.

Wanted flyers are online - click on a photo or visit:

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