top of page
Vote Vander Kamp

Priorities

As Sheriff, I will focus on five priorities:

1. Reduce Violent Crimes, Property Crimes & Traffic Issues in Deschutes County,

2. Address the Homelessness, Mental Health, and Drugs crisis,

3. Restore Public Trust and Accountability in the Sheriff’s Office,

4. Connect with the Community and Collaborate with Other Public Safety Partners,

5. Improve Deputy and Employee Wellness,

Kent Vander Kamp Deschutes County Sheriff Election Bend Oregon

Crime & Traffic

Deschutes County citizens tell me they are concerned about the trajectory of crime and are looking for a proven leader to keep people safe. Deschutes County has seen a steady increase in violent crime, murders, property crime, and traffic crashes. 

Everyone deserves to feel and be safe and secure when living, working, visiting, or studying in Deschutes County. Workplace violence, retail theft and aggressive behavior towards health care, school, transit,  and public safety workers have increased drastically in recent years. Being verbally and physically abused is not in anyone's job description. 


​I will hold habitual offenders accountable for their actions and provide care and support for the victims of crime. I will implement a data-driven approach, be relentless in investigations, and be consistent with interventions.

The formerly incarcerated also deserve support as they re-enter society. This reduces recidivism and leads to safer communities. I will design programs for the current inmate population and identify practical life and job skill programs to reduce recidivism, prevent homelessness, and create opportunities for change.


As Sheriff, I will also introduce a past-due traffic team to investigate significant traffic crashes, seek out impaired drivers, educate the community about traffic safety, while enforcing traffic laws that are the leading cause of fatal crashes. 

Homeless Crisis

Homelessness is the humanitarian crisis of our time. Deschutes County has the largest unsheltered homeless population east of the Cascade Mountains, and the status quo is not working. 

I understand the complexities of homelessness because I work with the homeless population, politicians, community leaders, and service providers daily while serving on the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team and volunteering with several community service organizations. 

As your Sheriff, I will use a compassionate, realistic, and common-sense approach when recommending homeless policies. Expecting the impaired and mentally ill to make rational decisions about their health and well-being is unrealistic. We must get people who are dangerous to themselves and the community the help they need. Leaving people to sleep in the dirt, on the street, or in cars is not compassionate or caring.  

 

I recognize that being homeless is not illegal. However, the Central Oregon community expects the Sheriff to enforce laws and ordinances prohibiting damage to public lands, solid and human waste disposal, and camping on public lands, roadways, or private property. 

Everyone deserves to feel safe. As your Sheriff, I will actively investigate and arrest homeless offenders who prey on vulnerable homeless with violence, human trafficking, drugs, theft, and extortion. 

Equally important, we must help people who sincerely want help. This requires building relationships and partnerships with the individuals and connecting them to financial, drug addiction & and mental health services to find stable housing, long-term medical services, and job opportunities, or reunite them with family or a sound support system.

Kent Vander Kamp Sheriff Deschutes County
Kent VanderKamp votevanderkamp.com deschutes county sheriff vote vander kamp

Community Connections

Our community neighbors tell me they don't feel heard by their Sheriff's Office. As your next Sheriff,  I will establish a diversified, knowledgeable Community Liaison Groups that are geographically specific to different areas in the county to address unique concerns.

At the same time, I will establish a "community deputy” in designated areas in the county, as a liaison, and responsible for local quality of life issues in their areas.

 

I will bring a collaborative spirit to the Sheriff’s Office. I will improve communication across all jurisdictions within the county, including local police, social services, health providers, mental health professionals, and homeless services professionals. The organizations I have led have been widely praised for demonstrating “best practices” in collaboration and communication.  

I will develop non-enforcement community engagement activities, like athletic programs, youth leadership programs, and citizen academies that make a considerable contribution to building and maintaining lasting relationships and community trust.

 

It is important to show the community that the Sheriff's Office really cares about our community, not just about enforcing laws or writing tickets.

 

Your Sheriff's Office has talented Deputies and staff from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. As Sheriff, I will encourage and support Deputies and staff to join our community as a volunteer, coaches, teachers, or mentors and share their talents. 

Culture of Accountability

With nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience 28 years as a corporate executive, I am the only candidate for Sheriff who has practiced forward-thinking and collaborative leadership grounded in transparency and accountability. 

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office desperately needs a fresh perspective, increased accountability, and renewed public confidence. After nearly a decade marred by legal battles, controversies, and negative news headlines, it is clear the Sheriff's Office must change course. 

As a law enforcement leader today, my duty as a public servant is to respond respectfully, reliably, and truthfully to the public. I do that now, leading the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team. As Sheriff, I will be transparent with all community partners, especially other public safety agencies. I will listen to all thoughts and concerns of the community and work with them to create reforms.​​

I will create a new strategic plan with clear, measurable goals around crime reduction, community engagement, and common-sense solutions to homelessness. This will lead to a more effective, efficient, transparent Sheriff's Office and the retention of high-quality leadership, deputies, and staff. 

Kent VanderKamp votevanderkamp.com deschutes county sheriff vote vander kamp
Kent VanderKamp votevanderkamp.com deschutes county sheriff vote vander kamp

Improve Deputy and Employee Wellness

My focus will extend to the core aspects of our employees' well-being: their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.

As your Sheriff, my commitment involves a comprehensive overhaul of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office culture and policies. This transformation aims to create a supportive environment that prioritizes the welfare and safety of the courageous women and men who have chosen to dedicate themselves to serving our community.

Addressing the cumulative trauma faced by our first responders will be a central initiative.

 

A primary goal is to ensure that our personnel are taken care of, enabling them to effectively fulfill their roles in safeguarding the community. Collaborating with experts, we will devise innovative and substantial strategies to assist our Sheriff's Office team in dealing with trauma's effects and enhancing their overall quality of life.

These efforts encompass a range of initiatives, such as investing in their safety gear and uniform necessities, offering mental healthcare services, implementing physical exercise programs, and establishing mentoring opportunities.

As Sheriff, it is imperative that we stabilize staffing levels and create a work schedule that provides essential periods of rest and recuperation. This proactive approach includes measures to prevent personnel shortages during shifts, thereby curbing burnout and minimizing the risk of health issues, accidents, obesity, and cardiovascular conditions. Most importantly, this ensures you get the very best when calling for help. 

bottom of page