Law enforcement has certainly been through some rough times in recent years but the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is defying the odds. Through sound leadership, opportunities and competitive benefits, the cutting edge agency has positioned itself as one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the country.
One Mission Without Distraction
Located in beautiful northwestern Oregon, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office understands that safety is the primary mission and the community they serve is the priority. While there are a lot of theories and ideas on combatting crime, the agency takes the security and safety of those they serve seriously and that begins with a proactive mindset that utilizes every tool at their disposal. From the use of data to target high crime areas to vigorously investigating crimes after they occur, both citizens and the deputies they serve can rest assured that crime is the mission and reduction is the goal. This mission is not only an idea but it has been codified in their “associated values” that emphasize the prevention of crime, deterrence of crime, apprehension of offenders, recovery and return of property, movement of traffic and public service.
Leadership Taken Seriously
An agency and it’s community is only as good as the leadership and Clackamus County is not directed by wayward politicians but by an executive team of seasoned law enforcement veterans that have both the deputies and the community they serve in their best interests.
Sheriff Angela Brandenburg leads the agency and with over thirty years of service including almost a decade in the Oregon Army National Guard, Sheriff Brandenburg brings an expertise that includes service as a Reserve Deputy, Patrol Deputy, Field Training Officer, Civil Deputy, Patrol Sergeant, Civil Sergeant and Civil Commander Lieutenant. She also serves as the Public Information Officer and was a member of both Search & Rescue and the SWAT Team.
Brandenburg has a great supporting cast that includes 17 year veteran Michael Copenhaver as Undersheriff. Copenhaver adds to the expertise within the leadership ranks with prior assignments in narcotics, investigations, homicide and violent crimes.
Great leadership can be determined by a myriad of factors but we specifically like the emphasis on training, policy and transparency. The department’s policies and procedures can be found online and the community relationships are fostered daily via social media and the emphasis on professionalism by every employee.
Cutting Edge Training
Clackamas County understands that hiring the right people along with ongoing training is the key to success and this is where the agency sets itself above the rest. Despite other agencies lowering standards, Clackamas County has maintained a rigorous process that hires the best for their community and agency. Character, decision making and a diverse view are vital in law enforcement and this is the core focus of the agency’s hiring process.
Once hired, recruits are sent to 16 weeks of state mandated training that includes over 60 hours of training in community relations. Defensive tactics, firearms, and driver training are the key components to law enforcement safety but the agency understands that additional training in communication, implicit bias, and de-escalation places deputies in the position to succeed.
Upon graduation from the academy, field training officers mentor each new hire for 17 weeks, ensuring that what was learned in the academic setting translates to the streets in a professional manner.
While the initial hiring and training standards are impressive, the ongoing training of Clackamas County Deputies are unparalleled. Deputies routinely receive constructive feedback on their performance and receive a minimum of 80 hours of training every 36 months while receiving vital training in use of force and defensive tactics on a monthly basis.
Community & Strategy
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is leading the nation in their emphasis on community policing and strategic policing. This includes transparency to the public in all they do along with emphasizing “non-enforcement” contacts that help bolster community trust. We are particularly impressed by their “Strategic Business Plan,” that places an emphasis on researching and defining issues within the organization, collecting data, analyzing results, and pursuing positive outcomes, all while continuing to prioritize safety and service within the community they serve while providing a detailed framework for continuous improvement. These “policing plans” are rare in law enforcement and Clackamas County is revealing just how serious they are about providing the public the information they need for trust and commitment.
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office offers several career tracks including patrol, corrections, non-sworn, and volunteer. They hire both new recruits and lateral transfers with an average annual income of $111,484 for those that are currently employed. Additional benefits include free health insurance and dental along with employer contributions to a great pension system along with a deferred compensation plan.
Current correction deputies average $98,883 per year in salary with special assignments that include Medical Deputy, Classification/Matrix Deputy, Electronic Home Detention Deputy, Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT), Search and Rescue (CSAR) and more.
Beauty All Around
Working for an agency is one thing but living life should always play a factor in any career decision and Clackamas County does not disappoint. From fishing to waterfalls to hiking mountains, and skiing, outdoor entertainment is everywhere in the area. Trillium Lake is a major attraction with unbelievable views of Mt. Hood that include fishing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and floating. We love the Lake Oswego Farmer’s Market that features almost 100 vendors specializing in products from the Pacific Northwest. Oregon doesn’t have any state or local sales tax and the communities of West Linn, Lake Oswego, and Happy Valley are known for their small town feel with excellent schools and access to services.
For the last two decades, Law Officer has been reporting, visiting, and evaluating law enforcement at a high level. While there are areas of the country to be critical of and agencies we would never recommend, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office has that rare blend of crime fighting, community policing, training, transparency, and excellent leadership that we highly recommend. We have been to the agency, we have meet their employees and we have trained them through the years and we can solidly say that if you are looking for a law enforcement agency that will prepare you for the rigors of the job while protecting you for doing your job, this is the department for you.
Applicants are required to be a United States Citizen, 21 years old with a high school diploma. Additional requirements can be found here.