By his own admission, new Linn County Undersheriff Paul Timm is a “detail person,” which he says can be good or bad.
But new Sheriff Jim Yon believes that attention to detail will bring a good balance to his management style and talents, which is why he asked Timm to become his undersheriff.
They've worked together for more than two decades, both starting off as Harrisburg resident deputies.
“I worked for him as detective sergeant and he made me better,” Yon said. “He has a wealth of knowledge, remains calm and makes good decisions.”
Timm's father, Paul, served with the Oregon State Police, including at the Albany post for more than 20 years. His brother Steve is an officer with the Eugene Police Department, and his brother Scott served with the Albany Police Department. He has several Minnesota cousins in law enforcement too.
“I planned to go to Western Oregon after I graduated at LBCC, but Sheriff Art Martinak hired me,” Timm said. “I worked Marine Patrol for a short time — which I really enjoyed — and then became a resident deputy in Harrisburg, which I also really liked.”
In 1994, he was assigned as a courthouse deputy and in 1997 he moved into the detective division. He also worked in the patrol division, then was promoted to traffic corporal before being promoted to detective sergeant in 1999 and detective captain in 2005.
“I have always liked criminal investigations,” Timm said. “In the early years, we covered everything from property crimes to homicides. Now, we have assigned detectives to certain areas such as sexual abuse, homicide, property crimes and computer forensics.”
Timm said computers were few and far between when he first started and deputies had pagers, but no cellphones.
“I bought my own .357 Smith and Wesson revolver and we had a lever-action .30/.30 in our cars,” he said.
One of his more interesting cases as a detective involved a homicide near Lebanon in which a woman and her boyfriend killed her former husband.
Timm has enough years of service to retire, but said he wants to keep working for several more years.
“I took the undersheriff position because Jim asked me to,” he said. “I don’t need to be in the spotlight, but I like helping out, and I’m glad he thinks I can do this new job.”
Timm said he's always been “on call 24/7” and has left movies, dinners and camping because it’s just part of the job. His father retired in 1994, but he had the good fortune of working with him a few times.
Although he's been on the job since June 1, Timm was officially sworn in Tuesday afternoon.
Yon told Timm and David Snippen, who was promoted to detective captain, and Andy Franklin, who was promoted to detective lieutenant, that their roles are important because “One guy cannot do it all.”
“Dave, you have earned my trust. You are well-respected not only locally, but also on the federal level,” Yon said.
Snippen was named division employee of the year in 2006 and employee of the year in 2008. He also earned a challenge coin for “outstanding supervision of the narcotics team in 2015.”
He was hired as a deputy in 1999, then was classified as a detective in 2004 and promoted to staff sergeant in 2011. His rank was restructured to lieutenant two years ago.
Snippen and his wife, Jennifer, have a son, Jackson, 9.
“Andy, from day one you have set yourself apart,” Yon told Andy Franklin. “You are so highly respected among your peers. You should be proud of what others think about you.”
Franklin was named Top Shooter of the Year in 2006 and a division employee of the year in 2009. He earned a challenge coin for his outstanding job in detectives in 2014.
He was hired in 2004, then reclassified to detectives in 2013 and promoted to sergeant in 2016.
Franklin and his wife, Becky, have three sons, Samuel, 8; Reuben, 7, and Nathan, 5.
Yon said Tuesday was special because they were his first promotions as sheriff.
“I am big on loyalty,” he said. “That means doing the right thing for yourself, your co-workers and the public, which pays the bills. Without their support, this place would look a lot different.”
Yon encouraged his key staffers to communicate up and down the chain of command and to make “sure we are all on the same page and headed in the same direction.”
He said they must hold people accountable and to make corrections as needed.
“Listen to the people,” Yon said. “They have sought you out for a reason. Take time to hear them out.”
Yon added, “Train your replacement. Make sure you are ready to move up and others are ready to fill in behind you.”