City reminds residents to call police when safety issues arise
When it comes to issues of safety and urgency in the community, the best thing you can do is speak up. Social media can be a great tool for communicating, but it isn’t always the most efficient. Unfortunately, platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor can only go so far to alert us about issues you may be experiencing. Due to finicky algorithms and inconsistent features, even if you’ve tagged the City or Happy Valley Police Department in a post, it’s not guaranteed that we will be notified in a timely manner. On Nextdoor, we can’t even see anything you talk about unless you comment on a post we initiate.
Like the saying goes, if you see something, say something. If you witness something that poses a safety threat, please contact law enforcement directly before you take it to social media. That ensures the Happy Valley Police Department has the best opportunity to gather all the pertinent information and respond as quickly as possible.
Call 9-1-1 if there is immediate life-threatening activity. Call non-emergency dispatch at 503-655-8211 for all other safety reporting.
Meet Police Chief Rich Sheldon
Lt. Sheldon has a strong history in law enforcement, starting his career in 1998 as a cadet with the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office while attending college. He would go on to join the Army’s Military Police Corps and was deployed in various capacities throughout Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He also has experience through his work with the Idaho National Guard, where he mobilized for Hurricane Katrina. Before accepting a role with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), Lt. Sheldon was employed with the Lincoln City Police Department where he was recognized as “DUI Enforcement Officer of the Year.”
As a CCSO Patrol Deputy, Lt. Sheldon served in the contract cities of Wilsonville, Damascus, and Estacada where he manned a traffic car for Clackamas County and the City of Damascus. As a deputy and Sergeant, he also served as a Field Training Officer (FTO) and Clackamas County Peace Officers’ Association shop steward for six years. He is also a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor and Drug Recognition Expert.
Sheldon has also served as a Patrol Sergeant for CCSO and its contract city Wilsonville, and as an FTO Sergeant and Motor Sergeant. As a Detective Sergeant, he served on the Domestic Violence and Enhanced Response Team (DVERT), and Adult Sex Crimes Unit and Child Abuse Team. Following his promotion to Lieutenant, he served as the Director of A Safe Place Family Justice Center, where he supervised the Adult Sex Crimes Unit and DVERT.
Lt. Sheldon took the reins as Happy Valley Police Chief at the end of June 2021, following the retirement of HVPD Chief Scott Anderson. He aims to address public safety issues and continue making Happy Valley a safe community as it grows and changes. With a strong background in traffic safety, Lt. Sheldon says he is making this a priority and working closely with deputies to address concerns expressed by community members regarding this topic.
Lt. Sheldon possesses a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and holds Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Supervisory Certificates from the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). He has also completed the Oregon DPSST Supervisory Leadership Academy, The International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics Institute Course, and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA) Command Course.
The Happy Valley Police force serves a growing nine and a half square mile area with a population of over 25,000 residents.
14 sworn deputies, a community service officer and the police administration are stationed in the Community Policing Center. This includes a dedicated detective, traffic deputy, two patrol sergeants and a police chief. They serve the public as a safety hub where citizens can report crime, obtain information, have questions answered or meet with an officer.
Police Services in Happy Valley are offered through a contract with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). Deputies are employees of the CCSO, but specifically assigned to Happy Valley. Through this partnership and annual contract, the City is able to maintain local control and identity for its police and save money by taking advantage of the service functions which a larger law enforcement agency, such as the CCSO can provide.
Funding for police services is covered entirely by a special Public Safety Levy which is voted on by residents every five years. This funding covers vital services including dedicated police patrols, crime prevention, proactive traffic enforcement, and the ability to respond quickly to emergencies when someone calls for help.
With dedicated police services, residents in happy valley experience law enforcement 24/7/365.
Here to help keep you and your family safe, happy valley police officers are part of our close-knit community and this beautiful city we call home.
Emergency or Non-Emergency?
When You Call
Please remain calm and listen to what you are being asked. Emergency dispatchers know you are calling for a serious reason or are in an endangered situation and that you are anxious for immediate help. The questions you will be asked are extremely important to get the right help to you as soon as possible.
Calling 9-1-1 From Your Cell Phone
When you call from your cell phone in Clackamas, Multnomah, or Washington counties, you will get a recording. After you are connected to 9-1-1 you will be required to say “Help,” or press “1” to talk to a dispatcher.
Why We Have a Recording
The recording filter is designed to limit the amount of false cell phone calls received at 9-1-1 centers. Prior to this filter, almost 40% of calls by C-COM from cell phones were accidental dials, primarily when phone buttons were accidentally pressed in pockets and purses.
Know Where You Are When You Call
Your cell phone is not linked to an address. Some cell phones do not identify their location for latitude/longitude, or give inaccurate locations. Also, there is no guarantee that your cell call is going to the correct 9-1-1 center, especially if you are calling within the metro area. This makes knowing your locations very important so your dispatcher knows where to transfer your call for the quickest help.
When you need to report a non-emergency situation, call (503) 655-8211.
Calls to this line are answered by dispatch around the clock. Calling this number will ensure that your call is answered promptly, prioritized, and an officer will respond as soon as possible. If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Non-emergency calls may include reporting:
- A crime that is NOT in progress or having just occurred
- A stolen vehicle (not in progress)
- Non-injury/non-blocking accident
- Residential burglary (not in progress)
- Dead animals/animal carcass
- Loud music or party complaints
- Police or Fire information request
The Public Safety Division creates and shares an annual police report each spring to track crime statistics and trends within Happy Valley.
This information is shared with the City Council as part of the end of year reporting on Council goals and community progress.
Director of Community Services and Public Safety