Curry County

Sheriff John Ward Sheriff John Ward

Curry County Sheriff's Office

Mailing Address:
94235 Moore Street
Gold Beach, OR 97444

Street Address:
29808 Colvin Street
Gold Beach, OR 97444

tel: 541-247-3242
fax: 541-247-6893
Curry County Sheriff's patch

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About Sheriff Ward:

John Ward was appointed by the Curry County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday August 26, 2014 as the new Sheriff of Curry County effective October 1, 2014, to replace Sheriff John Bishop. Ward holds a Management Certificate from the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training and has worked for the Curry County Sheriff ’s Office for 24 years. Ward has served as a patrol deputy, detective, patrol sergeant and lieutenant since he was hired in November, 1990. He started several neighborhood watches and became very involved with community activities. Sheriff Ward has been a member of SARAC (Search and Rescue Advisory Council) and also a member of the OSSA Enforcement Command Council.

In July 2009, he was promoted to lieutenant and continued to supervise not only Patrol, Marine Patrol, Forest Patrol, Detectives, Reserves and SAR, but took over the supervision of Dispatch. Along with all his administrative duties, Sheriff Ward is still very active with all the divisions and community projects. He has been recognized for two lifesaving awards both from the Oregon State Marine Board and by the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association. He was recognized by OSSA and awarded the SAR Coordinator of the Year for 2013.

Sheriff Ward was born and raised in Gold Beach and raised his family there. During his law enforcement career, he has been very active with the community and schools. Sheriff Ward was the Gold Beach High School golf coach for four years during the time his son and daughter were in high school.

Sheriff Ward stated, “I never imagined I would be in the position I am today as the Sheriff of Curry County. In taking over from Sheriff Bishop, I know the challenges we will face. I also know that we have very dedicated employees and we will do the best that we can with the resources we have. I have worked for four different Sheriffs during my career here at the Curry County Sheriffs Office and I have learned from them all. What I have learned from Sheriff Bishop, has given me the tools to be successful with what we can control and understand what we can’t control. I have adopted Sheriff Bishop’s motto and I will lead by his rule of, “Do what’s right, do your best and treat others with respect.”

From OREGON SHERIFF Magazine News

Curry County Sheriff's Office In Action

Click photo to start slideshow


Winter, 2014 – Things happen quickly in Curry County contrary to the old saying, “No hurry in Curry,” well at least here at the Sheriff’s Office they do. With the financial mess that Curry County is in and the recent September failure of the special levy to fund jail operations, we had to reorganize and figure out a way to save some money to be fiscally responsible with the possibility of closing our jail after June 2015. We are currently budgeted as is through June of 2105 with no guarantees of funding past then.

As Sheriff Bishop retired September 30, 2014, I took over on October 1st on the run, having meetings the same day with the judges, DA, county commissioner and county council regarding reducing the jail bed space from 50 down to 25. Policies were revised, a matrix system to score inmates was developed, and a resolution was adopted by the Board of Commissioners, all within two weeks. We expect to save money with food and medical. Being that we are minimally staffed due to funding, this will also make it more manageable to operate the jail.

I have reached out to the public and invited them to tour the jail to see how we have to operate with lack of funding and minimal staffing. By getting the community involved, we have had a very positive response and great feedback. The majority of the public likes, respects and supports the Sheriff’s Office but with the lack of support and trust that the public has with the Board of Commissioners and county government, I feel that it is time that we explore developing our own special law enforcement district.

In order to be successful as a Sheriff, you have to surround yourself with experienced, talented and qualified people. I have done so by promoting Joel Hensley to Sergeant/Jail Commander, Mike Espinoza to Patrol Lieutenant and Sergeant Dave Denney is the Parole & Probation Director. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am optimistic that we will survive.