On April 26, your Sheriff's Office was recognized as the County DUII Enforcement Agency of the Year by the Oregon DUII Multi-Disciplinary Task Force! This award recognizes the work of our staff in not just enforcing DUII laws, but also for making strides in public education and prevention. The Sheriff's Office also proactively trains deputies in DUII enforcement and drug-impaired driving laws, and takes a proactive approach to deter impaired drivers.
In addition, Deputy Jason McLaughlin was honored as the 2012 DUII Enforcement Deputy of the Year. Deputy McLaughlin is well known for his passion for arresting DUII drivers and we are proud to have him as a member of the Sheriff's Traffic Safety Unit.
DUII is a serious traffic safety issue. Deputies arrest 1,100 DUII impaired drivers every year, and that's in addition to arrests by city police in our area. In 2012, the award year, deputies made 1,173 arrests of drivers who were impaired by alcohol, prescription drugs, and other illegal substances. By removing these dangerous drivers from the road, we prevent many hazardous and life-threatening crashes.
Your Sheriff's Office continues to make DUII enforcement a priority to keep you safe on the roads. Please always drive sober, or ask a sober friend for a ride.
If you observe a possible DUII driver on the road, please call 9-1-1.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office will be inspected for compliance with national law enforcement standards by a team of assessors from CALEA next week, May 6-9. This four-day inspection is the most intensive part of the reaccreditation process for large law enforcement agencies who voluntarily apply for national accreditation.
Sheriff Garrett explains that many agencies can claim they provide excellent law enforcement services, but many fewer can prove it by achieving and maintaining rigorous accreditation standards that impact every aspect of operations. The team will be working hard to gain an understanding not only of our technical abilities, but also to learn about the Sheriff's Office culture and values.
One important way to assess our values is by talking with the community. That is why Sheriff Garrett is again offering several forums for public involvement. Every bit of feedback is an opportunity for deputies and civilian staff to improve our connections to the community. More details.
Have you ever been listening to someone and just knew they were lying to you? Sometimes your intuition alone can confirm a tall tale, but other times it is not as easy. People often deceive others to avoid uncomfortable situations. Be honest now, have you ever seen a newborn baby and told the parents "he's so cute" when you were secretly thinking otherwise? Maybe you complimented your spouse's cooking . . . right after forcing down that last bite.
People also deceive others to avoid trouble with authority figures, such as police officers or their parents. When people are deceptive it causes physiological changes in their body, and that is what polygraphs measure. Polygraph instruments, mistakenly called "lie detectors", in fact cannot detect lies, but rather they detect whether a person is displaying deceptive behavoir.
Polygraph Examiners at your Sheriff's Office assist criminal investigations by discerning whether a victim, witness, or suspect is being deceptive or truthful. In most situations, only two people are in the room during a polygraph examination, questions are prepared in advance, and the goal is to determine whether the person's point of view is credible. These expertly trained professionals work hard to ensure an objective examination. Learn more.
The Washington County Jail is offering video visiting with inmates beginning May 2, 2013. The jail's new equipment, including 21 durable touch screen video kiosks, came at no cost to Washington County taxpayers. In addition the vendor, Telmate, will also provide free software upgrades, Internet service and lifetime on-site service and maintenance.
The new system allows family and friends to visit an inmate via a video call (similar to Skype). Some of the greatest benefits will be to visitors who will no longer have to come to the Sheriff's Office for every visit. Visitors with Internet access, a desk or laptop computer, and a webcam can visit from the comfort of their own home. It will also save time and expense for visitors who live far away, be easier for disabled visitors, and accommodate those who may be too ill to travel for a visit.
The cost of a video visit will be $9.90 per 30 minutes, regardless of whether it is scheduled by the visitor or the inmate. The person who schedules the visit pays the fee. The fees are the same for local, long distance, and international calls.
With traditional in-person visits, inmates are allowed two one-hour visits per week in a visiting booth during set hours. With video visits, inmates will be allowed an unlimited number of visits per week to the extent appointments are availalbe. Video visits are allowed during normal visiting hours, plus Fridays and Mondays.
There is only one jail in Washington County and it's at capacity most days. In addition to booking, lodging, feeding and transporting inmates, the jail must also provide visiting, phone calls, commissary privileges, and mail services. All of these services are being scrutinized to gain efficiencies as county budgets are constrained. Contracting with Telmate appears to offer many additional benefits to our jail in the future.
Within a couple months, video visiting may be able to accommodate tablet computers and smartphones. We are also exploring the paperless systems where inmates use the kiosks to order commissary, request medical services, and even send electronic messages (imagine monitored email). Read the full press release. Social Visiting. Professional Visits.
After deliberating just two hours, the jury in the trial of Stephen Rhee returned a verdict of guilty on all charges. This is the robbery case that occurred on October 2, 2012, in Aloha near the intersection of 183rd and SW Rosa Road. It started with a man calling 911 to report that he was being followed by two men as he was walking from his home at the Devonshire Manor apartments to the Albertsons store nearby. While he was on the phone to 911, the two men attempted to rob him. The victim pulled a gun and shot one of the robbers. Deputies arrived to find a man with a gun, a dead body, and a third person in the neighborhood nearby. An exhaustive investigation led to a finding of self defense for the victim, and the remaining robber being charged with Attempted Robbery in the First and Second Degree, Unlawful use of a Weapon, and Possession and Delivery of Methamphetamine. He was found guilty this month on all charges. Sentencing is set for May 2, 2013.
Road Rage Leads to Crash Involving Motor Deputy
Thank you to the citizens who inquired about the status of Deputy Brian Upton. He is the motorcycle deputy who was the victim of road rage on NW Brookwood Parkway over the eastbound lanes of Highway 26 on April 23. The short story is that two vehicles were making the side-by-side turn from the off-ramp and one cut the other off. The second driver was so focused on catching up to confront the first that he did not see Deputy Upton stopped on the shoulder in front of him. After trying to pull forward to avoid the crash, Deputy Upton was struck from behind, knocked from his bike, and suffered injuries. His bike suffered severe damage, but Deputy Upton will be okay.
Theft of Utility Trailers
If you own a utility trailer that is easily accessible and leave the hitch unlocked, your chance of having it stolen increased recently. There have been five thefts documented this month. Please take steps to make your trailer more secure. Deputies have leads, but are interested in any suspect descriptions. If your trailer was stolen but not reported, please call in the theft to non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111. One additional bit of evidence could wrap up several cases.
. . . or Those Who Park Illegally in Disabled Spaces?
Have you ever been frustrated by a bad driver and wonder what you can do? Here is a solution! In Washington County, citizens can tell us about bad traffic behaviors they observe online. If you include a license plate number, date, time, and location, we will follow up with a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle. The letter will explain that a fellow motorist complained about their speeding, road rage, tailgaiting, etc. In the case of aggressive driving, you can also include a description of the driver. (Parents seem to appreciate this extra detail.)
There is also a letter for drivers who illegally use disabled parking spaces. For instance, if a person is parked in the space without the proper placard, you can send us a photo showing that and their license plate with a note of the date, time, and location. We will send the registered owner a letter explaining the citation fines that would apply. (Note: some disabled parking spaces are specifically for wheelchairs and that requires a specific placard.)
This might not work every time, but the letters are a good tool for parents whose kids borrowing their cars. And sometimes the letters do change behaviors for the better. If you know of a chronic violator for common dates and times, we will send our Disabled Parking Enforcement Volunteers to see if a citation is appropriate.