WOU in the news: Reedsport gets another new officer

Story published in The Umpqua Post

The city of Reedsport added another new police officer in July, the third in the last two months.

Jon Rausch was raised in Elkton and graduated from high school there. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences from Western Oregon University. He lives in Elkton with his wife and three sons, and has been working primarily in the construction and plumbing fields until now.

“Jon’s from the Elkton area,” Police chief Duane Wisehart said. “So, we’re kind of keeping a little bit of a theme of hiring somewhat local people. They have more of a buy-in into the community.

“He’s going to be a welcome addition.”

Rausch will enter the police academy in September. He will return in January and finish training with the Reedsport department.

“I hope to meet all of you under good circumstances,” he told the council and audience. “You can talk to me if you have any problems. I’m looking forward to meeting everybody here. I’m really grateful to get to work in this department with a lot of nice people. It’s been great for me so far.”

“That will complete our hiring,” Wisehart said. “After September, we’ll hire one more officer.

“Things are looking up.”

That new officer is expected to be assigned to Reedsport Community Charter School as a school resource officer; a position that will be jointly funded by the school district, Lower Umpqua Hospital District, Port of Umpqua and the city.

Wisehart also announced a new dispatcher, Hazel Brewster, who will start at the city later this month.

Officer Charlene Lohf, who directs the city’s dispatch center, was named the city’s Employee of the Month.

“Charlene has continually handled her regular duties,” City Manager Jonathan Wright said, “along with all the coordinating of scheduling during the hiring process of officers and dispatchers. This has been an ongoing effort over the last 18 months.”