The Criminal Division of the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office consists of the Patrol Division, the Investigations Division, and the Search and Rescue Team (SAR).
The Patrol Division includes Uniformed Patrols, City Contracted Police Services, Corp of Engineers Patrol, the Reserve Deputy Program, and Special Services including: ATV/Snow Patrol, Marine Patrol, and the Rural Neighborhood Watch Program.
The Investigations Division includes the Detectives in the General Law and Narcotics units, (BENT) and the Evidence Technician.
Captain Paul Wolverton supervises the personnel and activities of the Criminal Division.
The Patrol Division of the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office currently consists of 16 sworn, full-time deputies, including 13 patrol deputies, two Patrol Sergeants and one Captain. To facilitate better response times to calls for service, the patrol staff is divided into different regions throughout Umatilla County, and responds to a wide variety of calls for service in all areas of the county. Our headquarters are in the Umatilla County Criminal Justice Center in Pendleton, OR. We also have offices in Hermiston, OR, at the Stafford Hansell Government Center, in Milton-Freewater, OR, and in the cities of Weston and Athena, OR.
Our deputies are trained in all aspects of criminal and traffic law, criminal investigations and crime prevention. They are equipped and trained to properly and thoroughly investigate any type of complaint they are assigned. As members of the Criminal Division, some of our deputies have additional training and experience in disciplines such as; major crime investigations, traffic crash reconstruction, evidence collection and handling, DUII and DRE cases, interview techniques and other skills. The Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division is committed to protecting and serving our citizens, and making Umatilla County a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.
The Umatilla County Sheriff's Office is honored to be the law enforcement service provider of choice for the cities of Weston and Athena, OR. We are proud to be able to provide policing and law enforcement-related services to our city partners on a contractual basis. By purchasing services from the Sheriff's Office, these cities gain the efficiencies of a larger organization and are able to access all the services we can provide, including highly trained, well-equipped, and experienced deputies, crime prevention specialists, detectives to investigate more serious crimes, and more police presence and quicker responses to many types of calls for service.
On an annual basis, from around Memorial Day until the end of September, the Sheriff’s Office employs one deputy to provide patrols to the US Army Corps of Engineers property in the county. This position is funded by the Corps of Engineers through a contract with the Sheriff’s Office. The Corps of Engineers property is primarily situated along the Columbia River from the western boundary of the county to the Washington state line, with concentrations in the area and vicinity of McNary Dam. The Corps deputy also provides backup for our other patrol deputies when needed, and assists other agencies in jurisdictions surrounding the Corps of Engineers property.
The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Program consists of a group of dedicated volunteers, who donate their time and energy to support and assist the Sheriff’s Office in many ways, primarily with providing patrols, answering calls for service and providing security at special events. UCSO has a total of 15 Reserve Deputies, which included a five member Advisory Board and six deputies who are considered “Solo Qualified”, due to the successful completion of extensive training necessary to perform law enforcement functions as a solo patrol unit. Each member donates a minimum of 16 hours per month to the program.
The Reserves raise funds for the program through grants, and by providing security services and support at several community events, including the Pendleton Round Up and Happy Canyon, the Farm City Pro Rodeo and Umatilla County Fair, and at various sporting events and activities. The funds are used in the program to provide uniforms and some equipment, ammunition, and vehicles. The Sheriff’s Reserves are, and have been, an invaluable part of UCSO for many years, and we appreciate their service!
Within Umatilla County, there are hundreds of miles of established trails and roads for off road vehicle, such as ATVs, motorcycles, four wheel drive vehicles, and snow mobiles. Several large OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) areas are located in the Blue Mountains. These areas draw many outdoor enthusiasts and recreational activities every year.
With that use, there can be issues related to careless operation and accidents, some are serious in nature and the fact that many incidents occur in areas accessible only by four wheel drive vehicles or other specialized equipment.
Two full-time deputies patrol these areas, looking for safety, registration and operation violations, and generally promoting safe and sane use of these areas. They also educate where needed, ensuring that operators are in compliance with Oregon state law. Funding for the OHV program comes from an annual contract with Oregon State Parks. This funding helps provide personnel and equipment for the local program.
The Umatilla County Sheriff’s ATV and Snow Patrols became part of the Sheriff’s Office in 1987. Their mission is to maintain the safety and the security of the inter-trail systems thereby allowing all trail users to have an enjoyable outdoor experience in and around the Umatilla County area. The Snow Patrol Division is currently supervised by the Reserve Patrol Division with the assistance of a hand full of special deputies. All man hours are voluntary. This division is primarily funded through grants obtained from the Oregon State Snowmobile Association and local snowmobile clubs.
The Sheriff’s Marine Unit patrols the waterways and shore lines at the major bodies of water in Umatilla County, including approximately 195 miles of shore line on the Columbia River, both above and below the McNary Dam, and at the McKay Reservoir and Dam, located south of Pendleton. The Marine Unit consists of two full-time deputies and three part-time deputies who have over 50 years of combined experience and work on a seasonal basis. They enforce Oregon boating laws, such as Boating Under the Influence (BUI), speeding complaints, careless operation and boating in restricted areas, and water-related accidents. They assist the public by conducting search and rescue operations and helping lost or stranded boaters. Each season, the deputies conduct hundreds of boating safety inspections, offer boating safety classes year round to the general public, and also teach water safety classes for K-6th grade students, Boy Scouts and religious and civic groups when requested.
The Sheriff’s Office believes that education is a key factor in our efforts to keep the waterways safe and enjoyable, and to maintain a family-oriented environment for all who live here, and those who visit Umatilla County and the surrounding area. The program is primarily funded with grants from our partners at the Oregon State Marine Board.
The Rural Neighborhood Watch and Crime Prevention Program began operations in January 2006. It is staffed by two volunteer deputies who are presently coordinating thirteen major Rural Neighborhood Watch Units, consisting of nearly four hundred citizen members and applicants located in Western and Northern Umatilla County, and some residents of Morrow County who have land interests in Umatilla County.
The Rural Neighborhood Watch Program is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Sheriffs’ Association, empowering citizens to take an active role in homeland security and crime prevention at the local level. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, "Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country, bringing citizens together with law enforcement to deter crime and make communities safer.”
The Rural Crime Prevention Program organizes and brings together rural county farmers, ranchers and residents to provide tools and education in crime prevention and reporting, in areas of limited law enforcement services. While it provides assistance and support to Rural Neighborhood Watch Units, its mission is to assist and prepare citizens in creating and operating their own Rural Neighborhood Watch programs within their own areas. Rural Neighborhood Watch members are trained to be alert and aware of their surroundings, as well as identifying and reporting suspicious persons and activities in their unit to law enforcement agencies for further investigation and enforcement if necessary. The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office and the Rural Neighborhood Watch Program are committed to keeping citizens and property as safe and secure as possible.
The Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office consists of two full-time sworn deputies that are assigned and specially trained as detectives, and a non-sworn Evidence Technician. Members of this division are assigned as General Law Detectives, who investigate all types of person and property crimes. All of our detectives are members of the Umatilla/Morrow Major Crimes Team. Typically, cases that are assigned to the Investigations Division are those that require particular expertise, or may require extensive or lengthy follow up, thus freeing patrol deputies for other duties.
The person in this full time position collects, documents, securely stores and maintains custody of all evidentiary materials. At crime scenes, the evidence technician assist by gathering and securing evidence and also documents its relationship to the scene, which allows officers more time to concentrate on other aspects of the investigation. In the evidence room, they prepare evidence for secure storage and/or transportation to forensic testing laboratories, and to the courts for presentation at trials. The evidence technician also maintains secure custody of lost and found property. Items that are either considered lost and found property or evidence, which has been cleared by the courts may be released to the legal and rightful owners.
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