Chris Humphreys says being sheriff in Wheeler County is not all gravy

The Oregonian, 5/31/14, excerpt from “Oregon rural police: Sheriffs, district attorneys speak out on their challenges”

If you have spent the last 7 1/2 years chained to the floor of a concrete bunker, underground, in Antarctica, while comatose, and worse yet, it caused you to miss the film Alien Boy – see it immediately.  Then you’ll know the black-suited necktie-adorned man pictured below is Christopher Humphreys, one of the Portland police officers whose savage brutality caused the 2006 death in custody of James Chasse, a 42-year-old man diagnosed with schizophrenia. Besides Humphreys, officers who caused Chasse’s death were Kyle Nice and Bret Barton.  None of the three were ever disciplined.  Humphreys later rose to the sheriff’s seat in Wheeler County.

Chris Humphreys, Wheeler County sheriff, Fossil:

Chris Humphreys, The O on small-town sheriffs, 5-31-14

In some cases we have to utilize some “out of the box” thinking just to provide basic services. In Wheeler County, that means relying heavily on volunteers for what would normally be a paid position.

An example of this is highlighted by Mr. [Les] Zaitz‘s article: The reason Wheeler County shows such a drop in crime, especially the 2011-2012 snapshot, is because my predecessor lost funding for any office staff.  Without them, the time consuming job of compiling and reporting crime stats just went undone.  I was lucky enough to recruit a retired military staff officer who donates about 40 hours a week to manage Wheeler County’s administrative duties. In a year and a half she has donated thousands of hours, but now we are up to date on our crime statistics reporting.

As a small county sheriff, I am accustomed to climbing out of bed at 2 a.m., after being called by Dispatch, and responding to a very real and very dangerous domestic disturbance and then turning around at 2 p.m. on that same day and finding myself sitting across the table from a federal representative debating land-use issues. In both cases, we most assuredly (if somewhat tiredly) are faced with how best to serve the public safety interests of our County in light of those limited resources.