PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Longtime Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett announced his retirement Tuesday and recommended Undersheriff Caprice Massey take over November 30.

Garrett, who has been in law enforcement for 35 years, has been sheriff for the past 12 years. In a release, he shared “his gratitude to the hardworking and professional staff that have played a crucial role in accomplishing public safety goals and earning the community’s confidence.”

Garrett is retiring about six months before the primary election for his seat, and someone has to head up more than 400 uniformed officers and almost 200 other staff in the meantime.

Garrett is recommending Undersheriff Caprice Massey, a longtime Washington County deputy, to take the role as interim sheriff. If approved by the commissioners, Massey would be the first woman to head the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in its history. Massey started as undersheriff September 19.

She has been with the department since 2004. Massey has already filed for election to the sheriff’s position, according to county filing records.

The Board of Commissioners will listen to his recommendation “and consider the community’s best interests” in making a final decision.

“Going forward, the Board of County Commissioners will be appointing an interim sheriff and have complete confidence the Sheriff’s Office team will continue the high level of service and professionalism our community has come to expect,” County Administrator Tanya Ange said in a statement.

Garrett touted Massey’s qualifications and leadership.

Washington County Undersheriff Caprice Massey, September 26, 2023 (WashCoSheriff)
Washington County Undersheriff Caprice Massey, September 26, 2023 (WashCoSheriff)

In a June 2020 post, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced she was the Jail Commander, managing the county’s only jail. Massey was described as a “wife, mother, breast cancer survivor, US Navy veteran.”

“I commend our professionals for doing vital work to keep our community safe during times that demand much from them,” Garrett said. “It’s also worth noting we are fortunate to work in the county with partners who prioritize collaboration to tackle big challenges.”

The Beaverton Valley Times contributed to this report