Elections 2014 — Tim Svenson, Tim Casey and Robert Shipley first to file for position after Crabtree announces retirement

When Jack Crabtree announced in September he would not seek another term as Yamhill County sheriff, he said he did so in order to allow people interested in the job time to mount campaigns before he left office in 2015. Three county residents with extensive experience in law enforcement responded and the race for sheriff is on.CaseyShipleySvenson

A trio of Crabtree’s subordinates — Tim Casey, Tim Svenson and Joseph Shipley — were the first to announce their candidacies. The three are familiar in county law enforcement circles; all work in the sheriff’s office in some capacity.

Svenson was a senior at Western Oregon University before he earned an internship with the sheriff’s office. He was hired in 1999 as a civilian to assist to do data entry for the Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team (YCINT), then completed his degree at WOU and entered the police academy. He was hired as a patrol deputy in January 2000 and worked primarily in Sheridan until December 2004, when he was promoted to sergeant. In February 2008, he ascended to the position of administrative sergeant. In May 2010, he became sergeant of the county jail. In July 2011, he returned to patrol and was promoted in 2012 to captain of the operations division.

Svenson is responsible for evidence, dog control, the special investigations unit, supervises YCINT, manages the motor pool, develops in-service training, assists in Crisis Intervention Team training, oversees the civilian ride-along program, job shadow program and is liaison for new recruits.

As woodlands patrol deputy, Casey is coordinator of the Yamhill County search and rescue program and Project Lifesaver, an international program that allows first respondents to track and find people who wander due to autism, Down syndrome, dementia and other cognitive conditions. He also writes grant applications for the sheriff’s office and briefs the office on outcomes of SAR missions. He joined the sheriff’s office in 2006 after a stint as a reserve in the Newberg-Dundee Police Department. In his capacity as woodlands patrol deputy, he responds to incidents on state, federal and private lands around the county.

Before joining the sheriff’s office, Casey played professional baseball in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, sold real estate at his father’s Newberg firm and owned and operated an asset recovery business.

Shipley began his community service as a volunteer firefighter/EMT with the Amity Fire Department, then served a stint in the Army as a military policeman. He joined the sheriff’s office in 1992 as a reserve deputy in the jail, then advanced to a full-time position as a control room technician there. In 1993, he became a patrol deputy and served as a field training officer, narcotics detective and a sergeant in the patrol and corrections departments. His responsibilities as a sergeant at the jail is to oversee the corrections deputy team.

Before joining the team at the sheriff’s office, Shipley worked as a farmer and in the trucking industry.

When interviewed via email, each man pointed to his working relationship with Crabtree as evidence he was the best candidate for the job.

“During my tenure with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office I have worked right alongside the sheriff (and have been) heavily involved in our office’s success,” Svenson said.

“As coordinator of Yamhill County’s search and rescue program and Project Lifesaver, I work closely with the sheriff …,” Casey said. “I have gained knowledge and experience by working with the sheriff.”

“I … have worked with Jack for over 21 years,” Shipley said. “One thing (that) has been reinforced through these years is my dedication to service to our community.”

Where the differed, however, was what skills they would bring to the position that their opponents don’t necessarily possess.

“I understand where our office has been in the past and how we need to maintain improvement in the future,” Svenson said. “I have built relationships with other agencies within the county and within the community.”

“I believe my experience as a business owner will bring superior knowledge, leadership, morale building, team building skills and making customer service a priority,” Casey said.

“If elected sheriff I will bring a balanced, commonsense approach to law enforcement through fiscal and community responsibility,” Shipley said.

All three agreed that the office was well-run, but could improve.

“We have highly motivated and well-trained individuals who understand what team work is all about,” Svenson said. “I am committed to continue the work Sheriff Crabtree has begun and build off the foundation laid over the past 11 years.”

“Yes, the office is running smoothly at this time,” Casey said. “However, as with most things in life there often is room for improvement. And with new leadership comes new and fresh ideas that can and will lead to new and improved morale, working conditions and a higher quality of law enforcement services.”

“To ask if the sheriff’s office is running smoothly is like asking if the roads are serviceable,” Shipley said. “Yes, we are providing the services required, but I believe we could always do better.”

All three candidates were well versed on the responsibilities of the sheriff’s office (maintaining the jail, defending the county against those who endanger the public, execute civil processes and the orders of the court, to name a few), as well as the size the office has grown to over the years: 98 sworn and non-sworn personnel, of which 52 are assigned to the jail, patrol, court security and detective units. The office also has more than 100 volunteers that assist SAR, the Volunteer Response Unit, cadets, reserves and at the jail.

The trio agreed that the sheriff should remain an elected, not appointed, position, as has been suggested by some.

“As it is today, the sheriff’s accountable to the citizens who elect them,” Svenson said. “The sheriff answers directly to the people.”

“I believe that no one knows who better should serve as their sheriff than the citizens of the county in which they live,” Casey said.

Shipley said through the election process the position should remain “a sheriff of the people.”

What’s the No. 1 most important trait in a sheriff?

“A good sheriff has the ability to build partnerships with the community, within the office and loves to serve the citizens,” Svenson said.

“Accountability to the citizens of Yamhill County by providing a balanced budget and professional public safety,” Casey said.

“The bottom line is to serve and protect the citizens that entrusted us with their safety,” Shipley said.

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