Mark Garton for Polk County Sheriff News page 3

Sheriff’s Office receives 5th consecutive state accreditation award

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office recently received their fifth consecutive certificate of state accreditation on February 3rd, 2016 during the Polk County Board of Commissioners weekly meeting.  Sheriff Mark Garton was presented with the award of reaccreditation by Ed Boyd of the Oregon Accreditation Alliance. The Polk County Sheriff’s office was the first Sheriff’s office to achieve accredited status in the state through the Oregon Accreditation Alliance.

Accreditation is all about professional standards.  To be accredited, an agency must meet 102 professional standards comprised of over 400 separate requirements contained within those standards.   In Oregon, only ¼ of all Law Enforcement agencies currently hold state accreditation.  More specifically, there are only 9 Sheriff’s Office’s and 41 municipal agencies in the state that hold this accreditation.

The accreditation process is a lengthy process and occurs every three years.  The process involves having the Oregon Accreditation Alliance review and inspect everything associated with their operations and render an opinion as to whether they meet a set of best practices and standards for that profession that by itself shows commitment, transparency and dedication to excellence.

It is through the commitment and direction of the Sheriff that the office undertakes the rigorous accreditation process and although it is truly an agency wide effort to achieve accreditation, specific recognition needs to be given to the accreditation managers.  “I would like to thank Sgt. Kevin Haynes for his outstanding work in preparing our office for reaccreditation.  The process is far from easy and it takes a very dedicated employee to make this happen, especially during the past few years with our reduced staff,” Sheriff Garton said.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office joined the Oregon Accreditation Alliance in July 2001 and received their first award of accredited status in 2003.  Once an agency receives accredited status, they are re-evaluated and assessed again every three years.  This is the 5th consecutive award of accreditation given to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

“By being accredited and being able to hold this office to a higher standard is something that I am proud to be a part of.  This office will work every day to show our dedication to the people of this county by providing exceptional law enforcement services,” Sheriff Garton said.



Who’s Who – Page 2

Check out Mark’s ad in Polk County Itemizer Observer’s Who’s Who publication.

Click HERE

Sheriff’s Office to Expand Patrol Coverage

Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton is pleased to announce his office will expand patrol coverage from 10 hours per day to 20 hours per day. The increase in patrol coverage will begin January 10th. The hours of no direct patrol coverage took into consideration the historical call load of the office and the overall mission of the Sheriff’s Office. While the hours of non coverage will not be conveyed due to safety concerns, Sheriff Mark Garton states that even during the hours of no direct patrol coverage, his office will monitor those hours and immediately respond to calls for service if needed.

Since last May, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has been in the hiring mode due to the passage of the Public Safety Levy. The passage of the levy allowed for the Sheriff’s Office to hire 12 patrol deputies and 5 corrections deputies. These positions had been eliminated over the years through budget reductions as a result of the loss of the O&C timber payments.

Since the passage of the levy the Sheriff’s Office has been steadily working on getting positions filled. Many factors go into consideration when hiring new deputy sheriffs. Prior to the public safety levy passing, the Sheriff’s Office estimated that it would take about 18 months to get back to a position where we could provide more than 10 hours of patrol coverage. Hiring a deputy for either patrol or corrections is a very involved and lengthy process. From the initial recruitment, to written and physical fitness testing, then to oral board interviews and ultimately background investigations, the process could take several months.

Once a patrol deputy is hired multiple phases of our training program begins. Those phases include about 14 weeks of field training with a field training officer, 16 weeks at the Police Academy in Salem as well as continued ongoing training that is required of deputies. Before a new hire can officially be counted on the schedule as a full time deputy, they must successfully complete the training program established by this office. “We can’t minimize the training or rush through it. We owe the citizen’s a high level of service and we can’t just settle, we must be diligent and thorough so that we can provide the best law enforcement services possible”.

Sheriff Garton indicated the biggest hurdle to overcome on patrol is having enough veteran deputies to train the new hires. “We only have so many seats available in our patrol cars for training at any given time, so we are only able to hire a few at a time. As they progress through the various stages of training, we are able to bring on a couple more at a time” Sheriff Garton said.

“Thankfully the patrol division was able to hire 5 deputies who came from other police departments and sheriff’s offices from around the state, which saved us a considerable amount of training time and allowed us to recoup some of our investments we lost when we had budget cuts,” Sheriff Garton said. Being able to hire these deputies from other agencies eliminated us from having to send them to the police academy and it reduced the amount of time they spent on field training. Four of those five are already on the road working and filling a vacancy.

The remaining deputies hired on patrol had been reserve deputies or officers either with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office or other agencies in the Willamette Valley. This too helped the process along as those hires had been to a reserve academy providing them with an initial foundation for police work. Even with attending the reserve academies they are still be required to attend the police academy in Salem for the 16 week academy. “Having the reserve time and reserve academy under their belt makes them better prepared for the job and sets them up for a better chance of success in this profession” Sheriff Garton said.

The work of hiring and training is far from complete. The preparation and planning that was done during the transitions from Sheriff Wolfe to Sheriff Garton has made expanding our patrol coverage possible sooner than expected. “We have been in the training mode since May and we finally have enough deputies who have completed their field training and we are able to transition to 20 hours of patrol coverage. This is the first possibility to transition to 20 hours of coverage we have had. We didn’t want to rush this process, but if we could have transitioned sooner we would have. While none of the new hires (excluding certified new hires) have attended the police academy yet, with the training plan we have created, it will be possible to sustain the 20 hours of coverage until this office can expand even further to 24 hour patrol coverage”, Sheriff Garton said.

The patrol division still has two vacancies they are trying to fill due to an employee termination and another vacancy from when Sheriff Garton was appointed to Sheriff, leaving his position vacant. The process of filling those positions has begun and one should be filled early next month and the other one should be filled approximately a month later.

The jail division had 4 vacancies prior to the passage of the levy that were created due to retirements while another deputy left for employment in the Bend area and the death of a sergeant, leaving the jail short 6 positions prior to the passage of the levy. The levy provided the jail with 5 additional positions that were also lost over time due to budget cuts. Of those 11 positions, 6 have been filled and the other 5 vacancies should be filled in the next few months. While the corrections training is not as long as a patrol deputy, it still requires roughly 12 weeks of field training and 6 weeks of academy training in Salem. The hiring process is the same as for patrol deputies, so it is still a time intensive process and the same level of standards apply.

Sheriff Garton said, “My next set of goals is to get us back to 24 hour coverage and restore the POINT team. Once everyone gets through their academy training we can start scheduling them to fill the vacancies on the schedule. I anticipate that should occur around late June of this year, if all goes according to plan. We have been very fortunate to have hired the people we have thus far. The hiring and training have been going really well and we have positive momentum which is placing us ahead of what we originally planned for.”

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the voters for passing the public safety levy this past May. I am honored to be entrusted with serving the people of Polk County and I will do everything in my power to fulfill the promises that were made as part of the public safety levy. I will ensure that my office provides efficient and effective public safety services to the citizen’s we serve,” Sheriff Garton said. The support showed for the Sheriff’s Office before and after the levy is inspiring and definitely motivating for all the staff at the Sheriff’s Office and everyone is eager to provide more services than we have in the recent past.

Garton sworn in as 37th Polk County Sheriff

Mark Garton sworn in as 37th Polk County Sheriff Click HERE for full story!!


Thank you for your support!!



Familiar Face, New Job – Sgt. Mark Garton to be Sheriff Mark Garton

The most recent article from the Itemizer Observer.  Click HERE



Appointment Hearing Audio

Here is the audio recording from the October 28th, 2015 Board of Commissioners meeting where each commissioner voted to appoint Sgt. Mark Garton to be your next Polk County Sheriff effective November 30th, 2015.  Please listen to the audio and hear the comments directly from the Board of Commissioners.  The audio clip is just under 7 minutes, but well worth listening to.

OCT 28,2015 BOC Meeting – appointment announcement of Sgt. Mark Garton

Here are some excerpts from the audio:

Commissioner Wheeler

“I appreciate that we had two very well qualified candidates. My choice is Sgt. Garton”  “I appreciate the fact that he provided us a pretty good stack of letters of recommendation from people that I respect and that obviously respect him”

Commissioner Pope

“I took this job very seriously in the appointment of the highest elected law enforcement official in our county”.  “I am very interested in and very concerned about continuity, I’m not interested in tipping over something that is working really well”.   “We have had a commitment from Sgt. Garton and from all of the staff over the last couple years while we’ve struggled through financing improvements for law enforcement and public safety in this county and the last thing I want to do is tip all that over, break that trust and disrupt that continuity.”  “Sgt. Garton is a committed individual here and has proven himself to be worthy of the leadership position, he has trust of those he would lead and does lead and I believe that he is the most qualified person” and “my vote is for Sgt. Garton

Commissioner Ainsworth, Chairman

“I would like to thank both Todd and Mark for applying for this position, I thought you both did a wonderful job in the interview process and you’re both very well qualified”.  “I will say that I do agree with the continuity aspect of this job as we move forward”.  “This is a very important job as we move forward in the transition from now till the election”.  “But I do appreciate Mark and the work that he has done in Polk County”.  “I appreciate the fact that he’s had a vested interested Polk County this entire time, he grew up here in Dallas, he knows what is going on down the hallway and I like the continuity as we move forward, as this is a very important time”.  “I just believe Mark is the right person for this job and so I will go ahead and also say yea to Mark”






Mark Garton featured in the Itemizer Observer

After the Board of Commissioners announced their unanimous decision to appoint Mark Garton as your next Polk County Sheriff, Mark had a chance to talk with the Itemizer Observer.  Check out their article in today’s IO by clicking HERE.

Board of Commissioners to fill post on Oct. 28th

The Polk County Board of Commissioners will select Sheriff Wolfe’s replacement on Oct. 28th.   Here is an article by the Polk County Itemizer Observer.  The only correction that needs to be mentioned is the correct date of the selection is Oct 28th.

The interim position will be from December 1st through January of 2017.  Click HERE for the complete article from the IO.

Thank you,

Mark Garton

Garton is an Official Candidate for Sheriff

Mark Garton issued a press release today, which can be found by clicking  HERE or it is also listed below in plain text:

September 11th, 2015

Yesterday, Polk Co. Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mark Garton turned in nearly 800 signatures to the Polk County Clerk’s Office to become an official candidate for Polk County Sheriff. He is seeking to replace retiring Sheriff Bob Wolfe, who will retire Nov. 30 after serving as Sheriff for over 16 years and as a law enforcement officer for nearly 39 years.

Over the past three weeks, volunteers and supporters of Garton began to collect signatures so that he could file for the office of Sheriff by petition. Garton wanted to talk to citizens directly about public safety issues affecting the county.

“The opportunity to interact with citizens in the community and talk about real issues that affect them should be the focus of the Sheriff and his deputies,” said Garton.  “People deserve to feel safe and secure in their homes and during their travels throughout Polk County and as your next Sheriff, your safety is my priority.”

Garton has lived his entire life in Polk County and has been with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for 18. He began as volunteer cadet at age 17 and later a reserve deputy prior to working as a corrections deputy, patrol deputy, detective, patrol sergeant and in his current assignment as the Detective Sergeant. As the Detective Sergeant, Mark supervised the Polk County Inter Agency Narcotics Team (POINT) and is also the Polk County Major Crimes Team supervisor as well as working general criminal investigations.

Garton lives in Dallas with his wife, Stefanie and their two sons, Jackson and Bryson. “As lifelong residents of Polk County, Stefanie and I are vested in this community and I would be honored to serve as your next Sheriff,” said Garton. “I’m also honored to have the endorsement of Sheriff Wolfe and I am truly grateful for his support, but I also want to earn the support of the public and I will work everyday towards earning that support, as it is not given easily.”


Thank you,

Signature 2

Mark Garton



Sheriff Wolfe recommends Detective Sergeant Mark Garton for appointment

On November 30th, 2015, Sheriff Bob Wolfe will retire after serving as your Sheriff for over 16 years. Sheriff Wolfe has fully endorsed and recommended Detective Sergeant Mark Garton to the Polk County Board of Commissioners to be appointed as your Polk County Sheriff after his retirement.