Government, News, Washington County

Massey to lead the Washington County Sheriff’s Office beginning December 1

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will be lead by Undersheriff Caprice Massey come December 1, the Washington County Board of Commissioners confirmed during their October 3 board meeting.

With the resignation of current Sheriff Pat Garrett final on November 30, Massey will step in to fill the remainder of Garrett’s term—through December 31, 2024—until the winner of the upcoming May 21 Primary Election can be sworn in.

Massey, a Tigard resident, filed to run for Washington County Sheriff in the May 21, 2024 election on September 14, the day the filing window opened, according to county elections records obtained by this newspaper. As of October 10, she is the sole candidate.

The filing deadline for the office is March 12, 2024.

“I respectfully recommend in the strongest terms Patrol Commander Caprice Massey as the best and most qualified leader to serve as your appointed sheriff,” Garrett wrote in a Sept. 11 letter addressed to Washington County Board Chair Kathryn Harrington and the other elected commissioners on the board.

He said that Massey had the support of the senior leadership team of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“Commander Massey’s proven leadership experience underpins my recommendation, along with her support for our staff, and her commitment to developing herself and those around her,” he added.

The county noted that Garrett had taken steps to ease the transition, and he and Massey presented together before the Sept. 26 Washington Co. Board work session to walk them through what came next.

“As I assume the role of sheriff, I am deeply humbled and honored to be the first female sheriff in our community,” Massey said.

A press release described Massey as a native Oregonian who grew up in Eugene.

Massey spent two years at Forest Grove’s Pacific University on a softball scholarship, according to the Susan G. Komen foundation, which honored Massey, a breast cancer survivor, in 2020.

After a career in the Navy from 1990 to 1999 as an Aviation Ordnanceman with an Aviation Warfare Designation (A02AW), Massey—who, the county said, was the first woman certified to run the brig on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier—joined the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office in Virginia in December of 1999 to December 2003, after which she returned to Oregon and joined the Washington County Sheriff’s Office jail division July 19, 2004.

There, she held a number of positions, rising through the ranks over the next two decades.

She was promoted the the rank of Corporal in 2007, Sergeant in 2015, and Lieutenant in 2018.

Also in 2018, she graduated from the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Command College, and was promoted to commander in the Washington County Jail in 2020.

In 2021, she transferred, taking on the role of acting commander of the patrol division.

She graduated in December 8, 2022 from the FBI National Police Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

She is married with three children.

In a press release, she thanked Garrett and praised his legacy and service.

“I promise to carry on the tradition of integrity, courage, and compassion that my predecessor exemplified,” she added. “Together, with the support of our community, we will continue to protect and serve with unwavering commitment, making history and inspiring others along the way.”

In the Sept. 11 letter, Garett expanded on his reasons for resigning.

Garrett noted that his father had died in June, and that he needed more time to spend with his mother.

“My time serving with our incredible professionals as sheriff has been an absolute honor,” he added. “Leading our office’s partnerships with our community, each of you, and county staff has been an unmatched privilege.

This story has been corrected after the date “2023” was typed instead of 2024.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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