Benton County commissioners appoint Interim Sheriff

Jefri Van Arsdall was chosen in a unanimous vote (3-0) on Tuesday.

Posted: Jan 20, 2021 8:17 AM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Jefri Van Arsdall has been appointed to Interim Benton County Sheriff for the remainder of Sheriff Scott Jackson’s current term.

Van Arsdall, current Baker County Undersheriff, was selected by Benton County commissioners in a unanimous vote (3-0) on Tuesday. His appointment is dependent on him meeting all the requirements for the position, including passing an extensive background check. The background check can take up to three weeks to complete. During the time between Sheriff Jackson’s departure and Van Arsdall’s background check completion, Benton County Undersheriff Greg Ridler will act as Benton County Sheriff.

Undersheriff Van Arsdall began his career with Washington County, Oregon as a reserve deputy, worked at the Corvallis Police Department from 2004 to 2015, earning the rank of Patrol Lieutenant, and joined Baker County Sheriff’s Office in 2017 and became Undersheriff in 2018.

Sheriff Jackson will retire on February 1, 2021, after 25 years with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Under the terms of the Benton County Charter, it falls to the Board of Commissioners to appoint someone for the position through the end of the position’s term if the vacancy occurs with less than half of the term remaining. The current term ends in January 2023.

In addition to an Interim Sheriff appointment, the Benton County commissioners passed a resolution condemning the January 6, 2021 attacks on the U.S. Capitol Building. In discussing the resolution, Chair Xan Augerot remarked, “I don’t think any of us take this lightly. I believe in the sanctity of our republican democracy. I don’t believe invading the Capitol is ever appropriate and certainly never fanning the flames of violence.”

The commissioners cited a concern that growing incidents of violence towards public officials would lead to the need for additional safety measures, ultimately resulting in decreased public access to elected and public officials.

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