Grand Ronde area crime spree

Polk County Sheriff's Department

POLK COUNTY — Two candidates are seeking appointment as interim Polk County sheriff and interviewed for the job Tuesday.

Polk Detective Sgt. Mark Garton, of Dallas, and Yamhill County Patrol Sgt. Todd Whitlow, of Sheridan, both applied for the temporary post and went through interviews with the Polk County commissioners Tuesday.

Both have filed to be elected sheriff in the May 2016 primary, as well.

The candidate the board picks will take over the job on Dec. 1, after current Sheriff Bob Wolfe retires on Nov. 31.

The interim sheriff will serve in that capacity until January 2017, when the newly elected sheriff takes over.

The board is to make a decision by Tuesday (Oct. 20).

­Whitlow was hired as a full-time patrol deputy in Yamhill in 2001. He’s served in patrol, marine patrol, and jail divisions.

Currently he’s a patrol sergeant supervising 10 deputies and overseeing contracts for the cities of Sheridan, Willamina, Lafayette and Dayton.

“I want to see the Polk Sheriff's Office prosper, its employees to be proud and feel secure working there, and the citizens of Polk County believing in the Sheriff's Office and supporting it to the fullest,” Whitlow said.

Garton has worked in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years, starting as a cadet at the age of 17.

He’s worked in the jail and patrol divisions of the office. Now he’s a detective sergeant overseeing the Polk County Major Crimes Team and has also been the supervisor of the Polk County Interagency Narcotics Team (POINT).

“People deserve to feel safe and secure in their homes and during their travels throughout Polk County and, as your next sheriff, your safety is my priority,” Garton said.

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