Clatskanie - Columbia City - Deer Island - Goble - Mist - Rainier - Scappoose - St. Helens - Vernonia - Warren

2017 was a pivotal year for the Sheriff's Office, as staffing changes at the beginning of the year and controversy stirred up by media reports at the end of the year sandwiched a full slate of activities carried out in the interests of our mission to--once again--keep our community a safe place to live, work and recreate!

Throughout this past year--even with a certain degree of turmoil--CCSO staff carried out their duties with bravery, compassion and commitment to the values we all hold dear: protecting people's rights and keeping the public safe.

As we move forward into 2018, I am convinced that the lessons learned -- and the victories accomplished in thousands of calls for service and thousands of bookings into our jail and multiple thousands of front office service hours to the public -- will make for another very successful year for the Sheriff's Office in 2018.

Here's wishing you a safe holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

Sheriff Jeff Dickerson
Behavioral Health Issues a Growing Concern Within the Columbia County Jail

The use of the jail as a last resort in addressing behavioral health issues that are impacting not only our county but also our entire nation is growing beyond our ability to provide the kind of services these people need.  Now, instead of the jail being the last resort, it is quickly morphing into the ONLY resort for people who commit crimes but are suspected of either mental illness or behavioral health impairment due to either early developmental trauma or substance abuse.

While some of the crimes committed by these individuals are violent--including assault and murder--a large number of the crimes are not violent, yet still impact the community's peace and tranquility.  It is not uncommon for these individuals to be charged with trespassing, minor theft, disorderly conduct, and other crimes against public order.

2017: A Year of Service!
        Sheriff's deputies and support staff were as busy as ever in 2017.  Preliminary numbers for the year from Nov. 2016 to Oct. 2017 show that our hard work and dedication continues to pay off in areas of law enforcement, jail operations, civil law services, search and rescue, marine patrols, dog licensing and dog control and volunteer services.  Final tallies for the calendar year 2017 will be available this spring.

2017 saw the jail continue to house approximately 150 inmates per day. In doing so, the jail compiled the following statistics:

Security Rounds ................. 11,680
Stairs steps taken .......... 2,452,800

The 12-month period ending in October 2017 had deputies responding to the following calls for service:

Assaults .................................. 64
Burglaries ................................ 94


Dog Calls ............................. 2,128
Dog Bites ............................... 124
MORE DOG CONTROL STATS                     Reserve Patrol Deputy at Columbia County Fair

New  Laws in 2018
In addition to passing a major transportation funding package, the 2017 Oregon Legislature passed a handful of other laws that will affect Oregonians in signifcant ways. Most will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.  Of those, we list the following:

Crash reporting
As of Jan. 1, you will not need to report a fender bender if the damage is under $2,500. This is an increase from the $1,500 threshold that had been in place since 2004.

You must still report a vehicle crash to DMV within 72 hours if:
  • Damage to any vehicle is over $2,500 ($1,500 through Dec. 31, 2017);
  • Any vehicle is towed from the scene;
  • Injury or death resulted from this incident; or
  • Damages to property other than a vehicle involved in the crash is more than $2,500 ($1,500 through Dec. 31, 2017).
Enhanced Moveover Law
Most people already know about the move over law -- drivers move over or slow down for emergency vehicles on the side of the road. But starting in 2018, that same rule applies to any vehicle stopped on the side of the road with hazard lights on or showing signs of distress. In all cases now, d rivers will need to either move over a lane or slow down by at least five miles below the posted speed limit.

Tobacco Age
Oregon will join a handful of states that have increased the tobacco age to 21. The law requires anyone buying tobacco or vape products to be 21-years-old or older and creates stiff penalties for convenience store clerks who sell to the underage. Smoking is among the leading causes of death in Oregon and advocates say increasing the tobacco age will keep some people from nicotine addiction. New figures released by the state Friday show that only 7 percent of high school juniors report smoking tobacco products in the past 30 days and 49 percent of them said they would find it hard to obtain e-cigarettes or vaping products.

Gun Confiscation
Senate Bill 719 will allow Oregon judges to issue "extreme risk protection orders" to take firearms away from people determined to pose an immediate threat to themselves or family members. A judge would make the call whether to issue the order. The person would then have to turn in their firearms to law enforcement or a qualified third party. The person can get their firearms back when the order expires. The Sheriff was opposed to this legislation as being fraught with 2nd Amendment difficulties.  Nevertheless, for those who choose not to find a third party to hold their guns, the Sheriff's Office will provide the space for firearms to reside while the order is in place.
  Dog Licensing and Dog Control Significant Changes
   The Sheriff's Office is returning to the Dog Control Shelter to run its own responsibility in addressing the stray dog issues in our County.  
   Previously, Columbia Humane had been temporarily taking over County responsibilities for a few years.  Now, in an effort to improve the connection between licensing, fee paying and recovery of strays for owners, the dog control officer will now have an office down at the shelter located at 2084 Oregon Street.   We will advertise all recovered strays in our custody on our  Facebook Page .  We will also post a bulletin board inside the office (and visible through the office door when we aren't there) with photos of dogs currently in our custody.  Dogs that remain in our custody after 5 days are subject to being turned over to the Oregon Humane Society.  If we know you are coming to get the dog, the 5 day period will, obviously be extended.  If you have a stray dog in your area, you may report it to dispatch at (503) 397-1521.   If you have questions--or wish to notify us of a missing dog, you can call our Dog Control Unit at (503) 366-4614, or come by the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office will now be the location to arrange for pickup of stray dogs.  Come to the Sheriff's Office front window and tell the attendant you are here to take care of the paperwork to pick up your dog.  If we have the dog in the shelter, we will arrange to have the dog released back to you once the paperwork is completed.

Finally, a reminder that the Sheriff's Office is now fully in charge of dog licensing in the County.  We did this as a service to dog owners, who can now coordinate licensing with dog enforcement issues more easily.   We have also made it easier to comply with the law in two ways:
  1. By synchronizing the license renewal date with the rabies renewal date.  Now you will be able to take care of both requirements at the same time. Dog owners still with disparate dates can contact us at the Sheriff's Office to get the information they will need to synchronize the dates in the future.
  2. For those who do not want to come down to the Sheriff's Office to license their dogs, they can do it online through the link below.  Licensing is still subject to proof of rabies vaccination, but we have a number of ways to attempt to verify that, and you can give us vaccination information to verify when you license online.

New Patrol Position Added to Sheriff's Office as part of State Grant

Thanks to a collaborative effort among the Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office, and the County Department of Community Justice Services,  we will be participating in a grant that is adding an additional patrol deputy to our ranks.  The purpose of the new deputy position will be to identify, locate and apprehend convicted felons in our community who have been committed to the local criminal justice community for case management, but have failed to comply with the terms of their sentence.
With the State of Oregon seeking to reduce prison beds, more felons are being left in the counties in which they have committed their crimes and placed in a "downward departure" program to be addressed locally.   With the help of this grant, we will be working with the District Attorney's Office and Parole and Probation Officers to ensure that sanctions are swiftly applied to those in this program that do not comply with the rules--utilizing our local jail as a means to sanction improprieties  and improve the likelihood that these convicts do not re-offend.
News and Notes Roundup!
  • Homicide Investigation   Nets Manslaughter plea in Columbia County Circuit Court.  CCSO Investigators had solved the case in 2015   READ MORE 
  • CENT Team/CCSO Deputies  Interdict Narcotics Ring    SEE MORE
  • Clatskanie Car Thief caught in car, runs from deputies, but surveillance video helps with his capture  READ MORE
  • Search Warrant In November, our deputies,  along with the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant on  Hanhi Drive after one of our patrol deputies received a report of a "Pipe Monitoring Device" being stolen from a Northwest Natural Gas Company construction site  in Clatsop County.  Using GPS contained in the device, deputies were able to coordinate the location of the device to the Hanhi address, located in Columbia County. The device was estimated to be worth approximately $20,000.  Information relayed to Clatsop County investigators led to an affidavit for the search warrant. Upon executing the Search Warrant, investigators located the stolen device along with 19 grams of methamphetamine, and a rifle.  Four people were arrested in the case.
  • Did you know that the Sheriff's Office is an all-purpose, peace conserving organization that touches every part of the criminal justice system through its three divisions:  Enforcement, Corrections and Support Services (Civil Process, dog licensing, concealed handgun processing and working with the courts)?  The Sheriff's mission is defined in state law as being the Chief Executive Officer and Conservator of the Peace of the County.  Together or mission, goals and values come directly through the vote of the people who support our chief executive through the election and pay our salaries.   To see more about what what motivates us to perform all our functions on your behalf, see our mission statement HERE
Community Resources

Provides services for victims and survivors of family violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and for persons facing other crises.

Founded in 1966, Community Action Team is committed to:
  • Reducing the extent and negative effects of poverty
  • Increase family self-reliance
  • Improving community facilities and affordable housing stock
Non-profit organization whose mission is to provide services to individuals and families in need of:
  • mental health care
  • addiction treatment
  • psychiatric rehabilitation
  • developmental disabilities services 
  Columbia County Warming Center Facebook Page
 When the weather turns cold and you have nowhere to go to sleep at night

Resources from the Sheriff's Office to help defeat fraudulent schemes

It is our great pleasure to serve the citizens of Columbia County with premium law enforcement, corrections, civil and emergency response services.  Our vision is to
serve the citizens of our county with:
  • effective and efficient public safety services;
  • a safe, secure and efficient incarceration facility that contributes to a better quality of life; and,
  • reliable court and civil process services.
   Each employee is enabled to solve problems by taking ownership and believing he or she can form partnerships with our citizens and fellow public safety providers to make our community an ideal place to live, work and recreate. 

 For the current Agency-Wide Strategic Plan, You can go  Here!

For the sake of livable communities,

Columbia County Sheriff's Office
901 Port Ave.
St. Helens, OR 97051
Phone: (503) 366-4611
Fax: (503) 366-4644
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