An Invitation from Sheriff Craig Roberts
Dear Search and Rescue Volunteer:
I want to update you on changes I am making to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue operational structure.
In the wake of recent litigation, at the recommendation of my county counsel, and after a comprehensive study, I have decided to make these changes.
The comprehensive study was conducted by retired Undersheriff Matt Ellington. He was hired to provide me with a full assessment and to make recommendations on SAR best practices. He brings considerable management and SAR experience to this endeavor.
My direction was to research other models and best practices throughout Oregon, Washington and California. I also asked him to speak to a number of SAR leaders within the region to identify any recommendations they might have. One of the models studied was the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office's volunteer SAR program.
After many months of analysis and interviews, I was provided with the following recommendations:
- Bring SAR volunteers under a single, unified Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue Team, with specialized teams operating under that banner.
- Have all SAR volunteers go through a background check and a selection process.
- Have all volunteers train and abide by Sheriff's Office policies, while developing additional SAR-specific policies.
- Maintain records of all training to ensure compliance.
- Create a non-profit 501(c)(3) for Clackamas County Search & Rescue.
- Provide training and equipment.
After reviewing these recommendations, I decided to move in this direction.
In order for our office to take a more active role in making these changes, I assigned Deputy Scott Meyers to SAR on a full-time basis. I also assigned Lt. Brian Jensen as the new supervisor to oversee SAR, and assigned human-resources staff to address the SAR volunteer background and selection process.
I have also moved forward with establishing a subcommittee of experienced SAR volunteers who are helping with determining logistics to make these changes and provide input as we develop our short-term and long-term strategic plans.
If you are a current OSSA SAR card holder and are interested in becoming a volunteer SAR member with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, please complete our volunteer application. Your application, along with a cover letter detailing your SAR experience, must be received by March 31, 2020 at:
c/o Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office
2223 Kaen Rd.
Oregon City, OR 97045
I recognize that change can be difficult. But it is also important that my office makes appropriate changes to address inefficiencies, mitigate risk, and ensure I am doing my very best for those we serve.
Thank you again for the work that you have done over the years to make a difference in the lives of others. We look forward to working with you.
Clackamas County Sheriff