Tim Svenson earns nod to be next county sheriff
Sometimes no candidate really stands out in a field. Sometimes it would take melding one good quality here and one good quality there simply to come up with a reasonable contender.
But in a three-way race to replace outgoing Sheriff Jack Crabtree, one is best prepared to accept the mantle — Crabtree’s second-in-command, right-hand man and stated choice as successor, Capt. Tim Svenson.
Svenson grew up in Clatskanie. He joined the sheriff’s office 14 years ago, after earning a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement at Western Oregon University and marrying his college sweetheart, Nellie. They are raising their family in Lafayette.
Svenson’s extensive command portfolio includes work in the office’s patrol, narcotics, community response, marine patrol, search and rescue, special investigations and dog control units. He has previous supervisory experience at the jail, and spent time in both patrol and jail operations during his tenure as a sergeant.
Svenson chairs the local Radio Advisory Committee dealing with difficult emergency communications and dispatch issues. His work as public information officer exposes him to the barrage of media queries an elected sheriff can expect.
He’s fully up to speed on the office’s budget and personnel issues, has strong working relationships with key members of the county administration and local criminal justice network and is establishing a record of community involvement. He’s affable, approachable and knows how to be a good listener — positive traits for a sitting sheriff — and he has endorsements from Crabtree and the past two county sheriffs.
Also running are YCSO forest patrol deputy Tim Casey and jail sergeant Joe Shipley, both dedicated law enforcement professionals with strong ideas about quality law enforcement services.
Casey, a former professional baseball player from Newberg with deep Yamhill County roots, points to 15 years as a business owner, and diverse life and law-enforcement experience. Shipley envisions innovative possibilities for increasing YCSO revenues to return the office to past patrol staffing levels. Both would do their best for the citizens of the county, and both are displaying the drive to campaign aggressively.
However, Svenson has a stronger professional degree in the field, substantial command experience and exposure to the difficult demands of budgeting, personnel, public information and inter-agency collaboration. Among the three candidates, he has acquired the most credentials needed to run an office with more than 100 employees and a $13 million annual budget.
As Svenson noted in a recent interview, “There’s a lot more to law enforcement and public safety than arresting bad guys, bringing them to jail and high-speed chases. Things like budgeting, and building partnership with other agencies and businesses in the country, are parts of the job I love.” He added, “I think I’m very good at it.”
Three former occupants of the office concur in that assessment, and so do we. Capt. Tim Svenson has our vote for Yamhill County sheriff in the May 20 primary.