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Officers Craven, Wetherbee coming to Estacada

The Sandy Police Department is set to become Estacada’s main provider of law enforcement services on Sept. 1.

Officers Sam Craven and Bill Wetherbee have been selected to serve in Estacada on the recommendation of a panel made up of Estacada city leaders and a representative from the business community.

Both volunteered to cover Estacada.

Craven and Wetherbee spoke with the Estacada News in order to introduce themselves to Estacada citizens.

The two officers are buddies. They go to the same church and their families are friends. Their families recently vacationed together.

Wetherbee mentioned that Craven is especially good at drug investigations.

“Luckily, Officer Craven, we call him our drug sniffing guy,” Wetherbee said. “He loves to go after drugs.”

“Well, (Wetherbee) calls me that,” Craven said when asked about the nickname.

Wetherbee explained that officers tend to have a certain specialty or niche.

by: CONTRIBUTED - Officer Sam CravenDrug investigations are Craven’s.

“We get to seek out training. The training in that area is what I’ve always sought out. It’s fascinating to me,” Craven said. “(Drugs) do so much to destroy people’s lives. That’s a place where I feel I could make a difference.”

Both officers have experience responding to drug calls.

“You can’t ever get rid of drugs. What we’re going to do is displace the issue. Make it so hard they move out of town,” Wetherbee said.

He mentions plans for rotating shifts to keep the “bad guys” guessing when the officers will be on duty.

by: CONTRIBUTED - Officer Bill WetherbeeWetherbee explains that drug activity is one of Sandy’s main problems. Especially heroin and methamphetamines.

From what the officers have heard in discussions with city leaders, drug activity is one of Estacada’s main problems as well.

“Sandy has the same problems right now as Estacada with taggers and drug activity,” Wetherbee explained.

When asked about his niche, Wetherbee has a hard time narrowing it down. He sites traffic stops and drug calls before stating that what he really likes is getting to follow an investigation from start to finish.

“Once I get a hold of something I like to run it all the way to the end,” he said. “That’s probably why I work for a smaller agency as opposed to a bigger agency.”

Both officers enjoy working in a small-town setting.

“I like the small-town feel,” Craven said. “I like to get to know people, know their names, call their names when I see them. I feel Estacada would be a good place for that.”

“I love talking to people. In this job, if you can’t be personal with people it’s hard to do your job,” Wetherbee explained.

The officers expect to be doing a lot of meeting and greeting when they come to Estacada.

“There will be a lot of getting out of the car and talking to people. Learning their names and talking to people,” Craven said.

“We will contact you and say ‘hi,’” Wetherbee said. “We’re not evil people. We’re not just out there to write tickets and make people angry.”

“I think you’ll see us out there more than the county guys,” he adds.

Up until this year, Estacada had contracted with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office for police coverage since 1978.

In May, the Estacada city council voted to contract with the Sandy Police Department for the same coverage at a savings of more than $40,000.

Craven alludes that he hopes there are no hard feelings.

He explained that Sandy officers and sheriff’s deputies “cover each other often” and that he hopes nothing will change in that regard.

“I’ve actually been talking to some of the deputies that worked in Estacada,” Craven said. “They’re going to fill me in on what they’ve been working on and some of the stuff they see a lot of.”

Craven grew up in Clackamas.

Prior to becoming a police officer, Craven was a deck hand on a charter fishing boat.

Craven has been with the Sandy Police Department for nearly four years.

“It can be different everyday. You’re outside, you get to move around,” he said of being a police officer. “You create your own work.”

Wetherbee is originally from Ketchikan, Alaska but has lived in Sandy since his school days.

As a teenager in the 1990s, Wetherbee rode along with Sandy police officers and began thinking about the profession.

Before becoming a police officer, he was an aviation electronic technician with the Navy and a corrections officer with the Department of Corrections.

He has been a full-time officer with the Sandy Police Department for just over four years.

When the officers are on duty in Estacada, their cars and uniforms will indicate their Estacada post.




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