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New Benton County sheriff sworn in at county courthouse Monday

New Benton County sheriff sworn in at county courthouse Monday

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There’s a new sheriff in town.

Jefri Van Arsdall was sworn in as the interim sheriff of Benton County at the Benton County Circuit Courthouse on Monday morning. His wife, Raeann Van Arsdall, pinned his new badge to his chest after he took the oath of office.

Immediately after the ceremony, public information officer Jaimi Glass said, Van Arsdall left for Sunriver to attend training.

The new sheriff was appointed by the Benton County Board of Commissioners after the previous sheriff, Scott Jackson, decided to retire during his term, which ends in 2022. Van Arsdall comes to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office from the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, where he had worked since 2017, most recently as the undersheriff.

Before making the move to Baker County, Van Arsdall worked his way up through the ranks in the Corvallis Police Department to become a patrol lieutenant. Van Arsdall was with the department from 1997 to 2015. He was a reserve deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office prior to joining the force in Corvallis.

Van Arsdall was unanimously voted in as the interim sheriff by the Benton County Board of Commissioners in January. Benton County Commissioner Xan Augerot said Van Arsdall was selected in part because of “the need to address racial justice and increase community engagement” in a news release after the vote.

Van Arsdall becomes the first sheriff in at least 20 years to be selected from outside the current ranks of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

“(Van Arsdall) is a very accessible and approachable person, and his philosophy, based on his experience in community policing, is that law enforcement is there to serve the community it’s in,” Augerot told Mid-Valley Media in January.

Van Arsdall starts his new position at a salary of $126,970 a year, the same pay rate Jackson was earning. The sheriff's job will come up for election next year.

K. Rambo can be contacted at 541-812-6091 or k.rambo@lee.net. Follow on Twitter via @k_rambo_.

Editor Bennett Hall contributed to this report.

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