Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

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Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office
Multnomah County, OR Sheriff - NS.jpg
MottoExemplary service for a safe, livable community
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Legal jurisdictionCounty
Operational structure
HeadquartersMultnomah County, Oregon
Sworn members590
Unsworn members210
Agency executives
  • Michael Reese, Sheriff
  • Derrick Peterson, Corrections Facilities Division Chief Deputy
  • Nicole Morrisey-O'Donnell, Corrections Services Division Chief Deputy
  • Jason Gates, Law Enforcement Chief Deputy
  • Kezia Wanner, Chief of Business Services
Official website

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) serves the close to 700,000 residents[1][2] of Multnomah County, Oregon, United States. Multnomah County Sheriff's Office is a County Law Enforcement agency that handles 9-1-1 calls and assists other city agencies such as Portland Police Bureau. The current Sheriff is Michael Reese. The cities of Maywood Park, Wood Village, Fairview, and Troutdale contract out the law enforcement services of Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.[3]

The sheriff is elected by popular vote, and oversees a budget of $118 million.


Multnomah County Sheriff's Office was established in February 1854, with William L. McMillen as the first sheriff; he served until 1862.[1] In 1960, the Sheriff's Office created the River Patrol Unit, which has grown to be the largest river patrol division in the state.[4]

In the past, as recently as the 1980s, the position was essentially the "top cop" in the county, performing law enforcement for the bulk of the county's population. As of 2009, however, as the unincorporated areas of the county have diminished, 85% of sheriff's office employees work in corrections rather than law enforcement.[5]

On July 1, 2015, the Sheriff's Office began policing services for the city of Troutdale. In a 10-year agreement, the officers and civilian personnel of the Troutdale Police department were brought in as sworn deputies and employees of the Sheriff's Office. The agreement was reported to save the City of Troutdale over $900,000 per year over a ten-year period. The deal also included leasing of the Troutdale Police Community Center. The Law Enforcement patrol, property, and records divisions were also moved from the Hansen Building to this location in July, 2015.[6]

The sheriff's office oversees a budget of $118 million.[5]


Former Sheriff Bernie Giusto resigned on July 1, 2008[7][8] after a state police standards board recommended that he lose his badge[7] because of multiple issues including using an official vehicle for personal use,[9] lying about a relationship he had with former Governor Neil Goldschmidt's wife while he was assigned to the governor's protective service branch in the mid-1980s,[10] and allegations that he lied about his knowledge of Goldschmidt's illegal sexual relationship with a minor in the 1970s.[10] In addition to ethics violations, Giusto was thought to have managed the county budget poorly, and when confronted about such issues once replied with "They're not my bosses; they're my bankers, I'm not gonna debate how I do spend my budget. That's why I'm independently elected."[11][12] Days after making that comment, he closed the county's restitution center, which was a program that was just created that year.[11]

Rank structure[edit]

Title Insignia
2 Gold Stars.svg
1 Gold Star.svg
Chief Deputy
Colonel Gold-vector.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain insignia gold.svg
US-O1 insignia.svg


Enforcement Division[edit]

Deputy patrols the Independence Day parade route in Corbett.

The Enforcement Division acts as 9-1-1 response and patrol. The Enforcement Division primarily patrols east Multnomah County. Every law enforcement deputy working within the patrol division is a sworn armed police officer.[13] Since 1965, each enforcement deputy has been required to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

River Patrol Unit[edit]

The River Patrol Unit was founded to help decrease thefts from property on Multnomah County's waterways and to assist with search and rescue operations. The unit is responsible for 100 miles of river of the Columbia, Willamette, and Sandy rivers.[14]

Special Investigations Unit (SIU)[edit]

The Special Investigations Unit performs investigations of illegal drug activity within the greater Portland metropolitan area. The Special Investigations Team performs raids, street-level undercover operations, and gathers evidence in civil forfeiture cases. The Special Investigations Unit is composed of deputies from Multnomah County, officers from the Gresham Police and Troutdale Police departments, as well as an investigative technician.[15]

Reserve Deputy Program[edit]

A Multnomah County Sheriff's vehicle, with a command vehicle in the background

The Reserve Deputy Program is a volunteer-based law enforcement support program operated by the Sheriff's Office. Reserve deputies are sworn peace officers within the state of Oregon, are armed and can perform the same duties as a full-time police officer, although they do not regularly take emergency or 9-1-1 calls. Reserve Deputies primarily cover officers, assist with prisoner transport, and work traffic details. Reserve Deputies also serve as the Sheriff's Office mounted patrol.[16]

Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT)[edit]

The Corrections Emergency Response Team responds to incidents within Multnomah County's correctional system. In 1997, CERT was developed to deal with the ever-growing number of inmates and violent crimes occurring within Multnomah County correctional facilities. CERT officers are trained in specialized tactics that differ from such training as that of SWAT or other emergency response divisions would receive, because incidents that CERT would respond to mostly happen indoors and with violent offenders. The Crisis Negotiation Team works closely with CERT to resolve hostage situations safely. CERT commonly responds and deals with barricaded persons, mobile booking/mass arrest situations, hostage rescue, major/minor disturbances, less lethal situations, and lethal situations.[17]

Civil Process Unit[edit]

The Civil Process Unit includes three separate divisions: Civil Process, Extraditions, and Mental Health Transport. This unit upholds all civil court mandated orders, consisting of but not limited to: the service-of-notice process in civil lawsuits, enforcing county issued restraining orders, and serving eviction notices. The mental health transport is responsible for the safe and efficient transport of the criminal or dangerous mentally ill.[18]

Dive Team[edit]

The Dive Team are sworn members who are on call 24 hours a day. All members must be full-time deputies and be willing to respond to emergency call outs 24 hours a day. The team primarily responds to the Columbia and Willamette rivers where they perform such tasks as rescues, recoveries, and homeland security missions.[19]

Facility Security Unit[edit]

The Facility Security Unit is responsible for providing security to a variety of county owned buildings and facilities. Some facilities include The Justice Center, The Multnomah County Courthouse, The East County Courthouse, The Juvenile Justice Complex, The Inverness Jail, The Gateway Center for Domestic Violence, as well as a handful of Multnomah County Libraries.[20]

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, eight officers have died in the line of duty.[21]

Officer Date of Death Details
Deputy Sheriff Robert Phillips November 21, 1917 Gunfire
Deputy Sheriff Frank Walter Twombley November 19, 1918 Gunfire
Superintendent Ed Diedrich May 24, 1924 Explosion
Special Deputy Sheriff Walter William Leonhardt September 28, 1931 Gunfire
Deputy Sheriff Ernest C. Loll September 29, 1935 Gunfire
Sergeant Albert William Bowe November 15, 1945 Gunfire
Reserve Sergeant Scott E. Collins February 26, 1993 Vehicular assault
Reserve Deputy Sheriff Mark Alan Whitehead February 26, 1993 Vehicular assault

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Multnomah County". Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  2. ^ "U.S census bureau". Archived from the original on 2020-02-10. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  3. ^ "City Of Wood Village". Archived from the original on 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  4. ^ "River patrol". Archived from the original on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  5. ^ a b Griffin, Anna (July 25, 2009). "Sheriff should be appointed, not elected". The Oregonian.
  6. ^ "Troutdale Police Department taken over by sheriff's office". KGW.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b Sulzberger, Arthur (May 22, 2008). "Multnomah County sheriff Bernie Giusto will retire July 1". The Oregonian. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  8. ^ King, Tim (May 22, 2008). "Multnomah Sheriff Bernie Giusto Will Retire".
  9. ^ Sulzberger, Arthur (June 21, 2008). "Ethics panel rules against Giusto". The Oregonian.
  10. ^ a b Sulzberger, Arthur (December 15, 2007). "Second Giusto investigation finds fault". The Oregonian.
  11. ^ a b Sulzberger, Arthur (May 28, 2007). "Giusto may lose budget control". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011.
  12. ^ Budnick, Nick (October 29, 2007). "Giusto refused polygraph". Portland Tribune. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011.
  13. ^ "Law Enforcement Division". Archived from the original on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  14. ^ "River Patrol Unit". Archived from the original on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  15. ^ "Special Instigations Unit". Archived from the original on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  16. ^ "Reserve Deputy Program". Archived from the original on 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
  17. ^ "Corrections Emergency Response Team".[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Civil Process Unit". Archived from the original on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
  19. ^ "Dive team". Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
  20. ^ "Facility Security Unit". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
  21. ^ "The Officer Down Memorial Page".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°31′35″N 122°32′16″W / 45.5263°N 122.5378°W / 45.5263; -122.5378