As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, we'd be amiss to not take the time to recognize our amazing community members we serve in Washington County. We extend our sincere appreciation for your unwavering community support. Because of your love for this community, your refusal to tolerate injustice, and your openness to work with our Sheriff’s Office staff, together we can continue to build a strong community and foster the safest urban County in the state. We thank you for trusting us as your law enforcement provider and working with us to enhance public safety for all.
A community member shared Ring camera footage of a subject trying to open vehicle doors in an attempt to gain access. Property Crimes Detective Altiere made arrangements to place our bait car within the area, which has a real-time tracking device to alert deputies when it’s on the move. When a bait vehicle or package is placed a notification is sent to all of patrol. In response to this notification, Deputy Moser contacted Det. Altiere with knowledge of a nearby clean and sober house with possible ties. Between the initial video report and another community member posting similar video footage, Det. Altiere was able to send Dep. Moser identifiable suspect images. Dep. Moser contacted the house manager who identified the subject by name. The subject was subsequently interviewed and admitted to the unlawful entries of the vehicles which resulted in their arrest and a search and seizure of a stolen phone and foreign currency.

Video footage can make a great difference in criminal investigations, and we remind community members to report any suspicious activity to non-emergency dispatch, 503-629-0111. If you see something – please say something! 
While assisting Beaverton Police Department, Deputy Mintier responded and arrested a subject with a fraudulent check. During the arrestee interview, the subject disclosed enough probable cause for a search warrant at a residence where the checks were being processed. Dep. Mintier served the search warrant and located evidence of at least 52 victims of identity theft. Evidence included stolen mail, licenses, social security cards, checks, printers, etc. which were attributed to thefts from mailboxes, vehicles, or burglaries throughout Yamhill, Washington, and Multnomah Counties. WCSO Detective Ruhl also assisted with the extensive processing of the evidence and victim identification and notification.

Find more information on identity theft, prevention tips, and how to report it on our website.
Nov 14 - Deputies responded to the Bethany area on the report of two wandering goats loose in the neighborhood. Upon arrival, one of the curious goats had found his way onto the roof of a nearby house. Tis’ the season for roof-top prancing, and Gus the Goat drew quite the attention with his reindeer impersonation. Gus’s owner was quickly identified and able to lure him down with his favorite salty treat of french fries. Has this goat been bad or good? Only Santa can say...
With upcoming holidays and winter-like weather conditions, it’s another busy time for our Traffic Safety Unit.

In October, deputies arrested 79 drivers for DUII, with 17 of those during the Halloween weekend (Oct. 28-31).

Throughout November, deputes will continue to provide enhanced DUII patrols, including during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Please remember that buzzed driving, is drunk driving.

As older adults largely continue to social distance for safety, many continue to struggle with the emotional challenges of reduced social interaction.

To increase personal connections throughout the winter season, our Elder Safe program is launching the second annual Community Card Project in partnership with the Washington County Cooperative Library Service (WCCLS). We encourage residents to decorate a community card, add a note of goodwill, and send it to the below address for distribution to isolated older adults in our community through the end of January 2022.

Library Mail Service
111 NE Lincoln St, MS-58A
Hillsboro, OR 97124

You may design your own card or use our Template Card. Click here for more information.
Our work at the Sheriff’s Office plays a vital role in so many aspects of public safety throughout all of Washington County.

We were happy to share in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at each of our four divisions during our Live Sheriff's Showcase over the past month.

Did you miss any episodes? No worries, see below for links to the recordings. We can still address any questions you may have by sending them to Public Affairs.

  • Episode 1: Sheriff Garrett welcomed participants and we explored our Patrol Division, Mental Health Response Team, Motor Carrier Unit and had a special K9 appearance.

  • Episode 2: We dove into the Investigations Division, and met members from our Tactical Negotiations, Crisis Negotiations, and Robot Teams - and even got to peek inside their specialized police vehicles.

  • Episode 3: We toured the Washington County jail and shared insight into our operations, including our special needs housing unit and Security Threat Group.

  • Episode 4: We walked through our Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) to see how we prepare to honorably serve our county. We also enjoyed a special Forensics demonstration before we ended our four-part Showcase with Sheriff Garrett and Undersheriff Koch. 
The Washington Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with GreatBlue Research, conducted a digital survey to understand police-community relations within the Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District (ESPD).

The primary goal was to assess department services and performance by understanding community views of the agency surrounding satisfaction, perception, and awareness.

Key takeaways:

  • Residents in the service territory have a positive perception of the Sheriff's Office and continuing best practices will be important in maintaining this relationship with the community.
  • Although ratings for the ESPD and its Sheriff Deputies were positive, respondents voiced concerns with safety in the community, specifically concerning non-violent crimes, houselessness, and mental health.
  • With more than one-half of respondents following the WCSO's social accounts, engagement is markedly high relative to other community accounts, which provides a great opportunity to communicate and with residents in an efficient and cost-effective way.

As we enter the holiday shopping season, there is a notable rise in online orders and deliveries. Packages left on doorsteps make for easy targets enticing would-be thieves.

Detectives work proactively throughout the year to combat the problem and deter package thefts. Working closely with the United States Postal Inspection Service, detectives set decoy packages equipped with electronic tracking devices that allow deputies to trace and catch the thieves in action. This Bait Package Program has notably decreased theft in our community over the last seven years since its inception.

Detectives also encourage community members to follow these five tips to further protect their property:
  1. Bring packages in immediately upon delivery; never leave them unattended.
  2. Schedule deliveries when someone is home and take advantage of online tracking services. If you can't be there, have a trusted friend or family member receive the package.
  3. Use an alternative safe delivery location, such as an Amazon Locker, Fed Ex Location, Post Office, or ask if your employer will agree to have packages delivered to the workplace.
  4. Watch for suspicious activity. If you notice something out of place in your neighborhood, report it to non-emergency (503-629-0111) with specific details.
  5. Install a security camera - security footage goes a long way in deterring crimes and catching bad guys.
Building connections and empowering community members to create friendly and safe neighborhoods is an important goal of the Sheriff’s Office. We prioritize this through deliberate efforts to expand Washington County Neighborhood Watch Programs.
“Neighborhood Watch has grown in both safety for community members and effectiveness,” says WCSO Community Outreach Specialist, Brenda Schaffer. “We found that it is more effective and vastly safer to encourage participants to get to know their neighbors, be observant and take good notes, and report promptly. Rather than the common misconception that the program encourages neighbors to walk their streets late at night looking for criminal activity. That’s not at all safe.” 
In partnership with neighborhoods, the Sheriff’s Office hosts virtual Neighborhood Watch kick-off meetings. During these meetings, Schaffer and her Community Outreach colleagues discuss neighborhood-specific concerns; they listen and encourage simple steps to make neighborhoods more friendly and safe. “We also build confidence in communities so when they see something suspicious or see an overt crime, they call the best number, 911 or non-emergency, immediately,” explains Schaffer.
“The principles we cover, such as recognizing suspicious behavior, and prompt reporting, are a core part of Neighborhood Watch. Communication with your neighbors and partnering with law enforcement improves livability no matter the specific safety concerns,” says fellow Community Outreach Specialist, Kody Harris. "Some Neighborhood Watch groups focus on trespassing issues while others address property crimes such as mail thefts or car prowls. The Watch program is adaptable to suit your community’s concerns. Working together as a community can also be fun and beneficial in ways outside of crime prevention.”  
Click here for more information on starting or reviving an existing Watch Program, or contact Public Affairs
If you’re planning to get festive this holiday season, stay informed to avoid scams targeting holiday shoppers. Just as many traditions vary and take on different forms, new and old scams follow suit this time of year, including e-cards and online shopping scams, fake charities, bogus holiday help for hire, spoof travel booking sites, or baiting email offers.

While these “deals” may seem like great offers, follow these tips to ensure they are legitimate.

  • Always do your research before you buy – look for reviews and working contact information.
  • Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
  • Don’t make quick purchases on social media – scam advertisers track your shopping habits from social media ads then target you with specific products they think you’ll fall for.
  • Always use your credit card for online purchases so you can dispute fraudulent charges if needed. 

Visit the Better Business Bureau website for more information on scams and prevention tips.
Project Lifesaver is a Sheriff’s Office sponsored program focused on our loved ones who may be prone to wander. Participants wear a plastic bracelet containing a waterproof radio transmitter with a frequency uniquely assigned to them and their geographical area. This frequency assists our staff and the Search and Rescue Team when responding to action in the event a participant goes missing. 

When caregivers discover and report the missing individual through 911, trained deputies respond to search for the missing person using this Project Lifesaver radio-frequency tracking equipment. 

Project Lifesaver is a voluntary program. To qualify, the client must: 

  • Live in Washington County 
  • Diagnosed by a certified physician as having Alzheimer's Disease, other dementia conditions, autism, Down's Syndrome, or other similar disorders  
  • Be known to wander away from caregivers 

For more information or to sign up for Project Lifesaver at the Washington County Sheriff's Office, please contact (503) 846-6048. 
Washington County Sheriff's Office is hiring patrol and jail deputies. If you or anyone you know is interested in making an impact in Washington County, check out our available positions! Visit joinWCSO.com for information on requirements, testing, application process and more.