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Crabtree will make room for his replacement


Law enforcement — Longtime Yamhill County sheriff announces he will not seek re-election

Jack Crabtree announced last week that he would not seek a fourth term as Yamhill County sheriff.

Crabtree was appointed to the position in July 2002 after the resignation of his predecessor, Norm Hand. Crabtree was then elected in No­vem­ber of that year and is in the middle of his third four-year term.Crabtree

“Though my term and my service to you don’t end until January 2015, the filing opportunity for this position becomes available this week,” he said in a prepared statement released last week. “For that reason, it is important that I make this an­nounce­ment now so that the elec­tion process can move forward in a way that will best serve all those involved.”

Since graduating with a degree in criminal justice from Chemeketa Community College in the mid-1980s, Crabtree has spent his entire 26-year career in the employ of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s office, starting in 1985 when he was hired as a deputy in the corrections department. He served as a patrol deputy for two years before being promoted to the rank of detective in 1990, spending seven years there before he was promoted to commander of the detective division.

As sheriff, Crabtree is responsible for the office’s wide range of programs, from the patrol division and 259-inmate jail to the mounted posse, interagency narcotics team and marine patrol. The office’s budget tops more than $12 million and Crabtree also serves as board chairman of the Yamhill Commun­i­cations Agency (YCOM) and its $2.74 million budget.

“I can say that the sheriff’s office is operating at a level that the citizens expect and deserve,” he said. “The sher­iff’s office is staffed by highly motivated and well-trained individuals that understand team work and appreciate what it means to serve.”

Not one to tout his ac­com­plish­ments, Crab­tree has nonetheless amassed an im­pressive resume of awards, including investigator of the year by the Oregon Police Officer Association and police officer of the year by the Rotary Club of Mc­Minn­ville. He is a 2004 graduate of the National Sheriff’s In­stitute, holds deputy medical examiner and hostage negotiator titles, and graduated from the Ex­e­cutive Lead­er­ship In­stitute at the Mark O. Hat­field School of Gov­­ern­ment at Port­land State Uni­versity.

“I can think of no higher honor than to know that you have entrusted this high office to me for so many years,” he said. “Being the 29th sheriff since our beginning in 1845 has been a gift that I will be eternally grateful for. The fact that I was able to be the fourth-longest serving sheriff of the 29 adds an additional sense of accomplishment for me personally.”

Crabtree said his decision to step down at the end of 2014 was twofold: “I have completed what I set out to do, to be one of the best law enforcement agencies in the state. That goal has been met. The second (reason) is to give others the opportunities that I have been blessed to enjoy.”

Crabtree said he believes he has prepared a “very responsible succession plan” for the office upon his departure: “It has been my mantra for the past 11 years that everything we do should include plans for the future. Looking back was never an option. Our team was and still is determined to focus on the future. In our business we don’t have time to do anything less.”