A LETTER FROM SHERIFF FALLS:
After much thought and consideration I have decided to step down as Jackson County Sheriff at the end of the year. I have accepted a position with the City of Gresham as the Director of Police Services and 21st Century Policing. The new position will focus on the strategic planning and implementation of 21st Century policing. This direction is an innovative approach to law enforcement that I am excited to be a part of.
As a kid who grew up in Jackson County this decision has weighed heavily on me but it is the best decision for my family. I want to thank the citizens of Jackson County for allowing me to serve as your Sheriff over the past two years. I also want to thank all the men and women at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. They have been open and receptive to the many improved professional changes we have made. It has been a pleasure working with them.
There were several challenges facing the Sheriff’s Office when I began such as pending law suits, several months behind in civil processes, unresolved personnel issues, inadequate patrol staffing, unsustainable jail operations, outdated policing strategies, no strategic plan, and unclear leadership. I am pleased with the accomplishments we have made over the past two years that brought the Sheriff’s Office up to date with professional policing.
These accomplishments include: Implementing 21st Century policing strategies, implemented Ethics That Help Officers Succeed program, improved professional standards to reduce liability by updating policies and procedures, implemented a school safety deputy program, implemented body-worn cameras, and improved relationships with employees and community partners. We were also awarded a Community Oriented Policing grant (if approved by the BOC) for two additional deputies to continue our professional policing practices. These accomplishments should all be accredited to the great employees that serve the community at the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office is on a clear path to providing a professional level of service to the citizens of Jackson County. There is a strategic plan in place, the patrol division is at full staffing for the first time in several years, were getting back on track with civil processes, there is a sustainable staffing and training plan in place to open the basement of the jail in 2017, and a professional policing strategy has been implemented to reduce problems and help solve crime.
Even though I am pleased with the number of accomplishments at the Sheriff’s office it is unknown who the next Sheriff will be. The County Commissioners will be responsible for selecting my replacement to fill in until the next general election. As I have said before, we are in a new era of policing. Law enforcement agencies are realizing what was done in the past can be done differently today. I hope they choose someone that will continue the progress and professional direction the Office is going in. I will be happy to work with them through that process.