Marion County Sheriff Candidates Invited to Apply

Posted on May 6, 2023

After 31 years of law enforcement experience and four years as the Marion County Sheriff, Sheriff Joe Kast has announced his retirement effective June 30.

Commissioner Colm Willis, Board Chair, said, “In the past four years, Sheriff Kast has led this county through four federally declared emergencies. His leadership in the Sheriff’s Office and his quick decision making helped save countless lives during the 2020 fires. Marion County has always been a community that prides itself on public service and Sheriff Kast has been an example of that. We are so grateful for his service to our community.”

“Sheriff Kast has been an exemplary leader who leads without ego,” said Commissioner Danielle Bethell. “His vast years of experience serving the residents of Marion County prepared him for the role of Sheriff these last few years. I will greatly miss his honest and transparent approach and wish him well in his retirement.”

Commissioner Kevin Cameron said, “Joe Kast has not only been a great leader for Marion County, but he has also been a true friend, encouraging me to seek support to process experiences that impacted me personally through the wildfires and COVID-19. I will always be grateful for his service to the county and his friendship.”

When a vacancy occurs in a county elected office, the Marion County Board of Commissioners appoints a replacement who will hold office until the next general election. Applications for the Office of Sheriff will be accepted May 10 through May 26, 2023. The recruitment process is open and designed to find the most qualified leader to ensure a seamless transition for the Sheriff’s Office.

Interested applicants should submit a packet including a letter of interest, resume, and a letter from the Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST) certifying the applicant fulfills the statutory office requirements and minimum law enforcement standards. Application material must be received in a sealed envelope at the Board of Commissioners Office, C/O Jan Frits, CAO, at Courthouse Square located at 555 Court St. NE, Suite 5232, Salem, OR; or mailed to PO Box 14500, Salem, OR 97309.

All application material must be received by 5:00 p.m. on May 26, 2023.

The commissioners plan to interview eligible applicants and select a replacement on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. The new sheriff will be sworn in on Friday, June 30, 2023.

Minimum qualifications, pursuant to ORS 204.016 and 206.015, include: being a citizen of the United States; an elector of Oregon and resident of Marion County; at least 21 years old; having a minimum of four years of experience as a full-time law enforcement officer OR at least two years of experience as a full-time law enforcement officer and at least two years of formal, post-high school education; no felony convictions, or convictions for any other crimes that would prevent certification as a law enforcement officer in the state of Oregon. Applicants must be certified by DPSST or must achieve certification no later than one year after the appointment.

Public comments will be accepted May 10 – May 26, 2023. Comments may be emailed to or mailed to the Board of Commissioners Office at PO Box 14500, Salem, OR 97309. To be included in the record, comments must include the commenter’s full name and address.

For more information about the appointment process, please contact the Marion County Board of Commissioners Office at (503) 588-5212 or e-mail

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