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

The Counties of the State of Oregon
Clatsop Oregon county map
Click on a county to visit that county Sheriff's page, or use the dropdown menu selector below.

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


Spring, 2015 – Curry County is still facing the financial issues that seem to have plagued us for the past several years, except now we are at a critical point where we may be facing closing our jail in 2015 and cutting most all services. With the past history of levy failures in Curry County, there does not seem to be a positive movement from county government to solve our financial problems. Due to the non-existent O&C revenue this year and Curry County having the second lowest tax rate in the state, the reality is we are in uncharted territory.

My command staff and I have formulated an effort to form a Sheriff’s Office Public Safety District to hopefully provide a permanent funding solution to operate all Sheriff’s Office functions.

We developed a Sheriff’s Office Citizens Advisory Group that has been meeting on a weekly basis to develop the district plan. We have the mayors of all three cities as chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Group and are supporting the district plan. Since the formation of a district takes up to two years, our hope is that we can get a measure on the May 2016 ballot for a Sheriff’s Office local option tax to bridge us to the district. With all the local support and public comments back so far, we are optimistic that we will secure the funding necessary to continue to provide law enforcement services to our communities.

When I was appointed Sheriff in October 2014 to replace Sheriff John Bishop when he retired, there were many challenges and the county financial problems are our biggest. We were told that we did not have any funds to go past June of 2015 so we took immediate action to try and save money by reducing the jail bed space from 50 to 25, where it stands today. We updated policies and developed a matrix plan for forced releases and this has made a huge impact in our community.

On a brighter side, Curry County is looking forward again to the Cape Blanco Music Festival to be held here July 31st through August 2nd, 2015. It is projected to be larger than last year with up to 20,000 people attending.