SWEET HOME — Jason Ogden, a 15-year veteran of the Sweet Home Police Department, has been promoted to sergeant of the patrol division.

Ogden, 38, succeeds Jeff Lynn, who was recently promoted to the chief’s position.

“I feel doubly honored to serve the citizens of Sweet Home and to serve with the guys who will be on my team,” Ogden said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my family and co-workers.”

Born in Illinois, but reared in Fortuna, Calif., Ogden earned degrees in business and economics with an emphasis in management from George Fox University, graduating in 1997.

“I talked to some friends who were in law enforcement and they said I should consider a major in something other than criminal justice,” Ogden said. “They said I would get that training as part of my job and that I could use my major if I decided to go into management.”

Ogden and his wife, Pam, graduated in the spring of 1997 and he was hired by former Chief Bob Burford in Sweet Home that October.

“I knew since high school that I wanted to go into law enforcement,” Ogden said. “I was very fortunate to get hired right out of college.”

Ogden said he left Sweet Home for about 10 months in 2001.

“I went to work in Washington County,” Ogden said. “We wanted to be closer to Pam’s family in Portland, but we quickly realized it wasn’t for us.”

But Ogden said the experience was valuable.

“When I investigate crimes in Sweet Home, it feels like I have a sense of ownership in the community,” Ogden said. “I love seeing the impact the investigation has on the town. In Washington County, you’re making a difference, but you just don’t feel it, because you don’t know the people.”

Ogden — nicknamed Oggy by his fellow officers — started in the patrol division and then completed field training officer school. He served as new Chief Lynn’s training officer when Lynn was hired by the department.

He has served several stints as a detective and represented Sweet Home on the former VALIANT drug intervention team.

“For the last four years, I’ve primarily worked as a detective, mostly in drug and property crimes,” Ogden said.

Ogden said he was among three Sweet Home staff members who applied for the chief’s positions, including Lynn and Sgt. Jason Vaneck. He accepted the sergeant’s job because “I am ready for a change and I will enjoy the leadership role, much like the field training work.”

Away from work, Ogden is one of four pastors at the Valley Life Church in Lebanon.

He and his wife, Pam, have five children, Kelly, 10, Luca, 8, Ivan, 6, Amber, 3, and newly adopted Hudson, 2.

“I love being outdoors and working out, but really, I spend most of my time away from work with my family,” Ogden said. “I want to be a good husband and father.”

Alex Paul is the Linn County reporter for the Democrat-Herald. He can be contacted at 541-812-6114 or alex.paul@lee.net.

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