Archives for February 2016

Sheriff Advisory Team

Sheriff Mark Garton is excited to announce the formation of the Sheriff’s Advisory Team (SAT). This team is the first of its kind for the Sheriff’s Office. This team will consist of 9 citizen volunteers selected from throughout Polk County, representing people who work and live in all parts of Polk County. Sheriff Garton believes that connections between citizens and their Sheriff are very critical. This essential connection will help the Sheriff’s Office provide the correct services for the communities they serve.

The team will review current issues relating to law enforcement, quality of life issues and Sheriff’s Office programs, all which may affect their respective communities within Polk County. By reviewing these topics, it will ensure that the Sheriff’s Office provides effective and efficient law enforcement services to the people it serves.

Five members have already been selected to help begin this program. The four remaining positions will be appointed after a selection process occurs by the team. Citizens who are interested can turn in an application to the team who will review them and make a recommendation to Sheriff Garton for appointment. The current members are Grand Ronde Tribal Councilwoman Denise Harvey, Dallas City Councilman Bill Hahn, West Salem Neighborhood Association Co-Chairman Evan Sorce, West Salem resident Angie Hedrick and Dallas business woman and Falls City resident Amy Houghtaling.

The Sheriff’s Office Advisory Team will be an integral part of the Sheriff’s Office team. The team will assist the Sheriff’s Office in reaching its goals to incorporate citizen involvement, community policing, openness and accessibility in every facet of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The advisory team is in place to provide advice and guidance as it pertains to the relationship between the office of Sheriff and the citizens of the county.

What Is Expected of SAT Members?

SAT members will be required to attend monthly/quarterly meetings. Each member will represent their community’s concerns and provide insight and guidance to the Sheriff. Most of all, each member will benefit as an individual from the knowledge they gain from learning about the Office of the Sheriff and the services rendered in their communities.

The new members that are selected will serve 2 year terms. SAT members will receive a minimum of 10 hours of training during the first six months of their appointment and they will receive ongoing training as well. The training will be conducted by members of the Polk County public safety system. Members of the SAT team will also undergo a background check as they may deal with sensitive law enforcement information throughout their term.

Who do I Contact to Participate?

If you want more information about SAT or are interested in learning more about the team, please contact Sheriff Mark Garton by emailing [email protected] or calling 503-623-9251. An application can be found and downloaded HERE  . Applications are due by March 9th, 2016 at 5 pm.

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.