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Showdown for sheriff

Robert Crain focuses on trust
by: Robert Crain,

With a total of 20 years of law enforcement experience, and experience running a $1 million security business, Robert Crain believes he has what it takes to function as sheriff of Columbia County.

'As your sheriff, it would be my goal to re-establish 24-hour coverage and to respond to all calls,' said Crain. 'I would combat illegal drug use, starting with meth, which is the cause of most crimes.'

Crain, 44, said he would also re-evaluate the budget and reallocate funds where needed. He intends to begin a reserve deputy-training program to help staff a department that he says, 'is woefully shorthanded.' With these reserve volunteers and regular deputies, Crain plans to set up several substations in the county for quick response to calls.'

'Above all, it's important to earn back the trust of the people and the community,' Crain said. 'Then, and only then, we can talk about a levy.'

Crain, 44, was born and raised in Estacada. He currently lives in St. Helens and has one son, Brandon, 6, who attends Grant Watts Elementary School in Scappoose.

Crain graduated from James Madison High School in Portland. He attended Mt. Hood and Portland Community College where he studied law enforcement. He graduated from the Oregon Police Academy in 1989 and has completed all state law enforcement certifications except the supervisory unit.

Crain is currently employed as the code enforcement officer for Columbia County, a position he has held for six years.

Prior to taking his current position, Crain worked for Multnomah County Corrections as an intake councilor. He also worked for Clackamas County in the corrections release center where he helped prepare inmates for placement back into the community and for finding work. His background includes 11 years with the Hillsboro Police Department, where he started as a patrol officer; as a member of the K-9 unit, and as a detective where, after working in homicide and burglary, he specialized in ID theft, and financial and construction crimes.

During his time with Hillsboro, Crain was a bomb squad instructor and a member of the nationwide Federal Crimes Task Force, where he worked auto theft and as part of its emergency response team. He also formed the first police unit in Hillsboro for patrolling the light-rail stations and parking areas. What made this unit unique, he said, is that all were long-distance runners, which gave them the endurance to literally chase wrongdoers along the rail line. Prior to coming to Columbia County he was with Las Vegas Metro Police Department where he worked with the dignitary protection unit, and then formed his own protection agency that expanded to also cover events.

'I look forward to have the opportunity to protect and serve you,' Crain said. 'I want to make this a safer community for all to enjoy.'