Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) serves the close to 700,000 residents[1][2] of Multnomah County, Oregon, United States. Multnomah County Sheriff's Office is a County Law Enforcement agency that handles 9-1-1 calls and assists other city agencies such as Portland Police Bureau. The current Sheriff is Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell.[3] The cities of Maywood Park, Wood Village, Fairview, and Troutdale contract out the law enforcement services of Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.[4]

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
Patch of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
Patch of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
MottoA Safe and Thriving Community for Everyone
Agency overview
Formed1854; 170 years ago (1854)
Jurisdictional structure
Legal jurisdictionMultnomah County
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersMultnomah County, Oregon
Civilian employees210
Agency executive
  • Multnomah Building
  • Columbia River Office
  • Willamette River Office
  • Wood Village City Hall
  • Troutdale Police Community Center
  • Inverness Jail
  • Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC)
  • Multnomah County Courthouse Jail (MCHJ)
Official website

The sheriff is elected by popular vote, and oversees a budget of $118 million.



Multnomah County Sheriff's Office was established in February 1854, with William L. McMillen as the first sheriff; he served until 1862.[1] In 1960, the Sheriff's Office created the River Patrol Unit, which has grown to be the largest river patrol division in the state.[5]

In the past, as recently as the 1980s, the position was essentially the "top cop" in the county, performing law enforcement for the bulk of the county's population. As of 2009, however, as the unincorporated areas of the county have diminished, 85% of sheriff's office employees work in corrections rather than law enforcement.[6]

On July 1, 2015, the Sheriff's Office began policing services for the city of Troutdale. In a 10-year agreement, the officers and civilian personnel of the Troutdale Police department were brought in as sworn deputies and employees of the Sheriff's Office. The agreement was reported to save the City of Troutdale over $900,000 per year over a ten-year period. The deal also included leasing of the Troutdale Police Community Center. The Law Enforcement patrol, property, and records divisions were also moved from the Hansen Building to this location in July, 2015.[7]

A Multnomah County Sheriff's vehicle with old livery

The sheriff's office oversees a budget of $118 million.[6]

In early 2020, the Sheriff's Office switched their emerald uniforms to black ones. Part of this change also included updating the vehicle livery and retiring their green vehicles.[8]

In 2023, Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell became the first female Sheriff in the agency's history.[9]

Overdoses among inmate escalated due to illegally smuggled drugs by inmates. In August 2023, a strip search was put back into place in response.[10]


Deputy patrols the Independence Day parade route in Corbett.

Sheriff Bernie Giusto


Former Sheriff Bernie Giusto resigned on July 1, 2008[11][12] after a state police standards board recommended that he lose his badge[11] because of multiple issues including using an official vehicle for personal use,[13] lying about a relationship he had with former Governor Neil Goldschmidt's wife while he was assigned to the governor's protective service branch in the mid-1980s,[14] and allegations that he lied about his knowledge of Goldschmidt's illegal sexual relationship with a minor in the 1970s.[14] In addition to ethics violations, Giusto was thought to have managed the county budget poorly, and when confronted about such issues once replied with "They're not my bosses; they're my bankers, I'm not gonna debate how I do spend my budget. That's why I'm independently elected."[15][16] Days after making that comment, he closed the county's restitution center, which was a program that was just created that year.[15]

2015 retaliation incident


In 2015, Sergeant Brent Ritchie worked with three other deputies to investigate use of force in the Sheriff's Office's jails. Their conclusion was that use of force was disproportionately used against Black inmates. Sheriff Dan Staton demoted Ritchie upon being shown the final report.[17]

In 2019, a court rules that Staton retaliated against Ritchie and Ritchie was awarded $250,000 plus attorney's fees.[18]

List of Sheriffs

  • William L. McMillen (1854–1858)
  • Addison M. Starr (1858–1862)
  • Robert I. Ladd (1862–1864)
  • Jacob Stitzel (1864–1868)
  • Al Zieber (1968 –1870)
  • George V. James (1871 –1872)
  • I. M. Claywood (1872 –1874)
  • E. I. Jeffery (1874 –1878)
  • Ben L. Norden (1878-1880)
  • Joseph Buchtel (1880-1882)
  • George X. Sears (1894-1896)
  • William Frazier (1896-1902)
  • William A. Storey (1902-1904)
  • Tom Word (1904-1906)
  • Robert L. Stevens (1906-1913)
  • Tom Word (1913-1915)
  • Thomas M. Hurlburt (1915-1931)
  • Martin T. Pratt (1931-1949)
  • Marion Leroy Elliot (1949)
  • Terry D. Schrunk (1949-1956)
  • William F. Lambert (1957-1963)
  • Donald E. Clark (1963-1967)
  • Byron H. Shields (1967)
  • James C. Holzman (1967-1970)
  • Bard Purcell (1970-1974)
  • Louis Rinehart (1974-1975)
  • Lee P. Brown (1975-1976)
  • Edgar E. Martin (1976-1982)
  • Frederic B. Pearce (1982-1989)
  • Robert Skipper (1989-1994)
  • John Bunnell (1994-1995)
  • Dan Noelle (1995-2002)
  • Bernie Giusto (2003-2007)
  • Robert Skipper (2007-2009)
  • Daniel Staton (2009-2016)
  • Michael Reese (2016-2022)
  • Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell (2023-present)

See also



  1. ^ a b "Multnomah County". Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  2. ^ "U.S census bureau". Archived from the original on 2020-02-10. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  3. ^ "Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell sworn in as Multnomah County Sheriff; first woman to hold the office in the organization's near 170 year history". Multnomah County. 2023-01-04. Archived from the original on 27 February 2023. Retrieved 2023-02-26.
  4. ^ "City Of Wood Village". Archived from the original on 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  5. ^ "River patrol". Archived from the original on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  6. ^ a b Griffin, Anna (July 25, 2009). "Sheriff should be appointed, not elected". The Oregonian.
  7. ^ "Troutdale Police Department taken over by sheriff's office". KGW.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Oregonian/OregonLive, Piper McDaniel | The (2020-01-25). "Out: Emerald pants. In: black shirts. Multnomah County sheriff's deputies get new, modern uniforms". oregonlive. Retrieved 2024-04-05.
  9. ^ Oregonian/, Catalina Gaitán | The (2023-01-04). "Nicole Morrisey O'Donnell sworn in as Multnomah County's first female sheriff". oregonlive. Retrieved 2024-04-05.
  10. ^ "Multnomah County's Dysfunctional Jails Have Turned Deadly". Willamette Week. 2023-08-16. Archived from the original on 2023-08-16. Retrieved 2023-08-16.
  11. ^ a b Sulzberger, Arthur (May 22, 2008). "Multnomah County sheriff Bernie Giusto will retire July 1". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  12. ^ King, Tim (May 22, 2008). "Multnomah Sheriff Bernie Giusto Will Retire". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  13. ^ Sulzberger, Arthur (June 21, 2008). "Ethics panel rules against Giusto". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on January 9, 2009. Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  14. ^ a b Sulzberger, Arthur (December 15, 2007). "Second Giusto investigation finds fault". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  15. ^ a b Sulzberger, Arthur (May 28, 2007). "Giusto may lose budget control". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011.
  16. ^ Budnick, Nick (October 29, 2007). "Giusto refused polygraph". Portland Tribune. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011.
  17. ^ "Multnomah County Must Now Defend Disgraced Former Sheriff Dan Staton". Willamette Week. 2018-09-16. Retrieved 2024-04-05.
  18. ^ "A Multnomah County Jury Finds Former Sheriff Dan Staton Retaliated Against Subordinate". Willamette Week. 2019-06-02. Retrieved 2024-04-05.

45°31′35″N 122°32′16″W / 45.5263°N 122.5378°W / 45.5263; -122.5378