Local officers receive life-saving awards

Left to Right: Lt. James Horton, Deputy Eric Swanson and Tillamook County Sheriff Andy Long.

Tillamook County – Six local officers received life saving awards at the 49th Annual Oregon Peace Officers Association awards banquet, held at the Spirit Mountain Casino, on November 30, 2018. The officers receiving the awards represent three agencies which provide police services within Tillamook County; The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, Manzanita Police and the Oregon State Police. The events that were the subject of the awards occurred during the past 12 months in Tillamook County.
Manzanita Police Officer John Garcia received a life-saving award for his efforts in assisting a swimmer in distress in the Pacific Ocean. Officer Garcia entered the water, and using a borrowed boogie board, was able to reach the person in distress and assist them safely back to shore.
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division’s Sgt. Greg Plummer received a life-saving award for his efforts in also assisting a person in distress in the ocean. Sgt. Plummer entered the Pacific Ocean in Pacific City and rescued a surfer in distress, pulling the person safely to shore.
Tillamook County Sheriff’s Deputy Benjamin Berger and Oregon State Police Trooper Walter Andrew Silkwood received their life-saving awards for an incident in which they jointly searched for man who had taken psychedelic drugs and had wandered off and was considered missing and endangered. The two officers located the man after several hours of hiking. Because the man was hypothermic, Deputy Berger started a fire to warm the man before he was returned safely.
Oregon State Police Fish and Game Division’s Trooper Aaron Miller and Tillamook County Sheriff’s Marine Deputy Paul Fournier received life-saving awards for their actions in recovering a commercial diver who had drowned while the officers were on boat patrol on Tillamook Bay. When the two officers retrieved the diver from the water, he was unconscious and not breathing. Trooper Miller performed CPR on the diver as Deputy Fournier rushed him to an awaiting ambulance. The diver was resuscitated successfully while in the police boat and subsequently made a full recovery.
“I am very proud of these officers and their heroic and selfless acts while performing their duties. They represent the kind of men and woman that serve and protect the residents and visitors of Tillamook County every day,” said Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office’s Lt. James Horton. “It is also an example of the unique cooperative working environment that exists here in Tillamook County between all of our law enforcement agencies.”

Deputy honored for Distinguished Service to Tillamook County
Tillamook County – Tillamook County Reserve Deputy Eric Swanson recently received a Distinguished Service Award from the Oregon State Sheriffs Association. On December 1, 2018, Swanson also celebrated his 30th year in law enforcement.
Swanson began his voluntary law enforcement career when he was sworn in as a Tillamook City Police Reserve Officer in 1998, where he served for 13 years. Swanson joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2001, where he currently serves as a reserve and part-time deputy.
“Eric selflessly volunteers to help cover patrols in high impact areas such as Pacific City during the highly populated busy tourist season, the US Forest Service Sandlake OHV area, and other high traffic complaint areas,” said Sheriff Andy Long in nominating Swanson for the award.
“Eric’s patrol statistics rival those of our full-time staff on many levels and he continues to set very high standards for himself and for the Sheriff’s Office. He goes out of his way to assist other Deputies with calls for service and members of outside law enforcement agencies,” concluded Sheriff Long.
Deputy Swanson works as a manager at Adventist Health’s Tillamook Regional Medical Center. Swanson is also an Oregon State certified EMT-Paramedic, and his medical expertise has proven to be vital to the health and survival of many injured people throughout his time responding to ATV collisions in his patrol area at the Sandlake OHV Recreation Area. Swanson is also credited with assisting the Sheriff’s Office and Adventist Health in coordinating medical staffing within the Tillamook County Jail.
“Deputy Swanson is a true asset to the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office and is deserving of this prestigious award,” said Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office’s Lt. James Horton. “His commitment to this community is a benchmark I strive for all of our deputies to attain.”