With mixed emotions, we announce the forthcoming retirement of Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett, effective November 30, 2023. Sheriff Garrett has served our community with dedication and distinction throughout his 35-year career, and his leadership will be deeply missed.
In a recent letter to the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Sheriff Pat Garrett announced his retirement after 12 years leading one of Oregon's largest law enforcement agencies. Sheriff Garrett expressed his gratitude to the hardworking and professional staff that have played a crucial role in accomplishing public safety goals and earning the community's confidence.
During Sheriff Garrett's tenure, the Sheriff's Office achieved numerous notable accomplishments:
- Earned the Meritorious Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), a national gold standard in public safety. This distinguished recognition was only awarded to three agencies in Oregon.
- Sheriff Garrett served on CALEA’s Executive Director Regional Advisory Group to develop and promote public safety best practices.
- Developed a strategic plan aligned with the community's public safety needs, establishing a clear vision and goals.
- Incorporated recommendations from a community-led advisory committee into patrol operations, benefiting the 218,000 residents of the urban unincorporated area.
- Established a community-led Latino Advisory Commission, involving the community in policy, training, and operations through regular meetings.
- Prioritized community engagement by participating in county-wide annual community events.
- Implemented a patrol-wide body-worn camera program to promote accountability and transparency.
- Earned accreditation for jail medical services from the National Commission on Corrections Healthcare.
- Achieved accreditation for forensics services to international standards - one of only four agencies in the state to do so.
Significant accomplishments and contributions also marked Sheriff Garrett's service:
- Collaborated with the Board of Commissioners to establish a top-tier public safety training center, fostering professionalism and safety among Sheriff's Office staff and partners.
- Commissioned a comprehensive use-of-force review by national experts, ensuring alignment with best practices and strengthening community trust and safety.
- Served as president and Treasurer of the Oregon State Sheriff's Association and contributed to the Police Policy Committee at the Oregon Department of Public Safety, Standards and Training.
- Served as co-chair of Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities, a diverse Metro Area problem-solving coalition.
- Earned the Award for Valor earlier in his career for disarming an individual who posed a threat to deputies.
- Served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve for 25 years and was mobilized twice after 9/11. He served one year with the Plans and Policy Directorate at the United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. He was also mobilized for a year to Baghdad, Iraq, with the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division on a Provincial Reconstruction Team and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Sheriff Garrett has taken steps to ensure a smooth leadership transition within the Washington County Sheriff's Office. At the Washington County Board of Commissioners' work session on September 26th, Sheriff Garrett recommended to the Board of Commissioners that Undersheriff Caprice Massey be appointed as the successor for the remainder of the term. This recommendation was initially made on September 11th in a letter to the Board of Commissioners.
Sheriff Garrett expressed his confidence in Undersheriff Massey's qualifications and leadership abilities. With an impressive background and extensive experience in law enforcement, Undersheriff Massey has demonstrated her dedication to public service and commitment to the community's safety and well-being.
The Board of Commissioners will thoroughly review Sheriff Garrett's recommendation and follow established procedures and protocols in making their decision. Their ultimate choice will consider the community's best interests and ensure a seamless continuation of the high standard of service provided by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Garrett stated, “I commend our professionals for doing vital work to keep our community safe during times that demand much from them. It’s also worth noting we are fortunate to work in the county with partners who prioritize collaboration to tackle big challenges.”
WCSO Public Information Officer