September 2022

Justice System Improvement Program – Fall Forums Announced

Benton County’s Justice System Improvement Program is a multi-year project that began with a detailed 2018 assessment. Research findings of that research showed that existing facilities are antiquated, too small, and have security issues. Currently, people experiencing addictions and mental illness struggle to find help, and limited jail space means offenders are routinely released into the community, with no access to mental health services or addiction treatment programs.

Building on assessment findings, the County engaged with a cross-section of County staff and technical experts and sought additional input from community stakeholders to develop a plan to provide treatment and accountability to ensure safety and strengthen the community. After more than 30 community engagement events and continued refinement in facilities plans, the Board of Commissioners is preparing to consider a bond measure—planned for May 2023—to fund some of the facilities recommended by the assessment. Funding discussions have been underway for several months and more than $55 million in federal, state, existing, and other funding resources are already secured. 

This fall, the County will host two community forums—to share information about the proposed facilities and how they will improve outcomes in crisis response and community safety. The forums will include a short presentation and panel discussion for questions/answers from the public. Please join us in person or via Zoom using the links below to register for online attendance.

Benton County Mental Health Forum: Better Outcomes in Crisis Response and the Justice System

Benton County Community Safety Forum: Improving Accountability and Emergency Response

Learn more about the Justice System Improvement Program

Mental health & law enforcement crisis co-response growing after initial successes

The Crisis, Outreach, Response, and Engagement, or CORE, co-response program is growing thanks to a successful partnership between the Benton County Health Department and Corvallis Police Department (CPD).

In July 2021, the two agencies launched the CORE program, which pairs a qualified mental health professional and a crisis intervention-trained police officer to resolve mental health crisis calls in hopes of avoiding incarceration or emergency room visits. The program was created in response to a growing need for mental health services in Benton County. From 2018 to 2021, CPD experienced a 58% increase in calls related to mental health services.

Building upon a national framework for law enforcement and behavioral health crisis co-response, CPD and Benton County Behavioral Health decided to pilot the crisis co-response program using existing staff members to measure the program’s success.

Learn more about the CORE program

Benton County Sheriff’s Office awards prestigious life-saving award

On August 3, 2022 Deputy Lovik from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) responded to a vehicle crash near the intersection of Philomath Blvd. and SW 53rd Street in Corvallis. Deputy Lovik was first to the scene where a single occupant was unconscious and not breathing. 

Deputy Lovik immediately retrieved an AED and used the device along with chest compressions to restore the man’s heart rhythm. Deputy Lovik acted alone and without the assistance of on-duty medics for the first several minutes. The man in the vehicle was later transported to the hospital where he remained in stable condition. 

The BCSO said Deputy Lovik's actions and willingness to respond saved a life. 

The BCSO describes Deputy Lovik as a forward thinker who makes quick decisions. 

Congratulations Deputy Lovik and thank you for your selfless service to the community!

Pictured: Deputy Lovik received a “2022 Lifesaving Award” from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office for her actions that saved a man’s life, Aug. 3, in Corvallis.

hMPXV monkeypox has been confirmed in Oregon

Outbreaks of hMPXV, commonly referred to as monkeypox, have been in the news a lot lately. Before 2022, hMPXV was not often seen in the U.S, though it is routinely seen elsewhere in the world. This disease is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is related to the smallpox virus. While generally less severe and contagious than smallpox, hMPXV can be an unpleasant and sometimes serious illness.

The disease is spread primarily through prolonged and close, most often skin-to-skin, physical contact with people who have hMPXV symptoms including rash and lesions. It is also less commonly spread through contact with soiled towels, clothing, or other objects that have been in contact with hMPXV lesions.

Although most people are at low risk of infection, anyone can catch hMPXV. Be on the lookout for any new rash or sores similar to acne or bug bites. Rashes and sores can occur anywhere on the body. To prevent hMPXV, you should be aware of your health, avoid intimate contact with others if you have symptoms, and ask potential partners about illnesses or rashes.

If you have signs of hMPXV or believe you have been exposed, contact your medical provider or you can call Benton County at 541-766-6255. 

Learn more about hMPXV 

Talking Trash in Benton County

The Benton County Board of Commissioners has established a community-based work group to recommend a framework and processes for long-term solid waste planning. The workgroup will convene twice a month from Sep. 8 through Dec. 15.

The County has also hired a skilled third-party facilitator, ICMresolutions from the Oregon Consensus network, to help the workgroup lay a path forward.


“Benton County is taking a unique and progressive approach to how we are coordinating with our community about waste management projects,” said Community Development Director Darren Nichols. “Transparency, openness, and community involvement are paramount. We are being as open and transparent as we can by coordinating with community members, other counties, the state, and key stakeholders.”

Benton County offers some of the best services in the state for waste management, comprehensive recycling options, rural recycling, rural composting, and solid waste disposal. 

Learn more about the workgroup

It's National Preparedness Month!

September is National Preparedness Month and Benton County is teaming up with Linn County, and the cities of Corvallis and Albany to let the public know about the importance of having an emergency plan, staying informed and aware of risks, and knowing how to get information during an emergency. Take time to build or update an emergency kit and sign up or update contact information for local emergency alerts.

It is a good idea to review evacuation routes in your community and enable Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on cell phones. Make copies of important documents, and learn about emergency preparedness. This year’s National Preparedness Month Theme in Oregon is “Plan Today. Ready Tomorrow,” and recent events prove the time to prepare is now to be ready for any emergency or disaster.

Benton County Sheriff's Office releases annual report

Find out what happened in the Sheriff's Office last year! The Benton County Sheriff's Office 2021 Annual Report has been sent to Benton County residents and is available to view on the Sheriff's website.          

View the 2021 Annual Report


Benton County Public Information Office

541-766-6800 |

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube