Matt English launches bid for Sheriff

September 7, 2011

Detective Matt English of Hood River County Sheriff's Department will run for sheriff in 2012.

"I think the community has a real opportunity right now to put some long-term leadership in there," said English, who started with the county in 1998, first as parole and probation officer. He transferred to the sheriff's office in 2000, and has worked as patrol deputy and is currently assigned as a detective and lead investigator, including serving as public information officer.

English is the third person to announce a run for the job currently held by Joe Wampler, who will not run for re-election.

Announcing this spring were Hood River Police Chief Neil Holste, the first to file, followed by Bruce Ludwig of Hood River, former police chief.

Coming from within the department, English believes he has the advantage of "the team approach."

"I can go right to work," he said. "There are dedicated people who are ready to move into the future, progressive folks who are ready to hit the ground running, so to speak.

"I am extremely excited and proud to have an opportunity serve this community leading such a professional office," he said. "As sheriff, I will ensure that the community will have a sheriff's office that is accessible, responsive and accountable."

According to a press release issued by English, Wampler said, "Not only does Matt have a proven record as patrol deputy and investigator, he has demonstrated that he is consistently reliable, trusted and respected by his peers."

English said fiscal concerns are the biggest challenge facing the department right now, and the county in general.

"It's financially trying times for everyone. It's maintaining and continuing to provide at a minimum the same level of service that they are right now.

"We need to be able to make the best use of all available resources we can and continue to provide best service to the community," he said.

English said he presented for the department in budget planning this year, and through his work as union representative, "I understand how the county works, and the budget process."

English has served as the Hood River County Law Enforcement Association president, training instructor, Traffic Grant Project Coordinator, and as part-time instructor at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

He is instructor and past assistant program coordinator of the Reserve Deputy program.

English has a degree in social science from Southern Oregon University. He grew up in Sherman County, where he attended Sherman Union High School.

His wife, Robbie English, is a juvenile counselor for the county. They are parents of twin sons Andy and Ben, 10.

For more information about English and his campaign, go to and

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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