Sheriff Byron Trapp has worked for the Lane County Sheriff’s Office for 31 years but Monday, April 16, will be his final day working in law enforcement.
“I submitted a notice to the Board of Commissioners on my intent to retire and vacate the office of sheriff,” he tells Eugene Weekly.
He notified the board on Friday, March 29. The county sheriff is an elected position and will be on the ballot in May 2020.
Trapp says there aren’t any “juicy reasons” for his departure. He just wants to have a slower daily pace, get some surgeries done without the pressure of returning to work and spend time with his grandchild.
He adds that he feels he completed all that he set out to do when he started the job as sheriff. The department has a solid set of leadership that is ready for any upcoming challenges, he says.
Although Trapp could’ve retired three and a half years ago from law enforcement, he was appointed in 2015 when former Sheriff Tom Turner left for a police chief position in Florence. Trapp ran unopposed in May 2016.
He decided not to retire earlier because he had a commitment that he wouldn’t leave the organization for retirement as long as he was healthy.
Trapp’s retirement news follows recent controversies in the sheriff’s office. The office is accused of violating Oregon’s sanctuary law that prohibits law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration law through a contract with Immigration Customs Enforcement.
In addition, a former Lane County Sheriff’s deputy, Bryan Holiman, is facing an internal and criminal investigation. A complaint filed in November 2018 alleges that Holiman made inappropriate sexual comments to a community member while on duty. Holiman resigned on March 22.
Although Trapp says he sent a letter recommending his chief deputy, Cliff Harrold, for the job, it’s up to Lane County Board of County Commissioners to approve the appointment. If commissioners don’t agree with Trapp, Harrold will serve as interim sheriff until voters decide on the next sheriff.
Trapp says Harrold is the right person for the job. He says Harrold served as a police explorer in his teens and used to ride in his car during ride-alongs. Harrold’s work experience includes being a dispatcher at another police agency and has “experience in areas I didn’t,” Trapp says.
If Harrold is appointed as sheriff, he will have to face an election in May 2020 should he choose to run.