DESCHUTES COUNTY, OR -- When Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton announced his retirement last week, he named Captain Shane Nelson as his preferred replacement. Blanton will leave office in July, more than a year before the end of his term. Captain Nelson says he had considered the position of sheriff before, and was honored when Blanton approached him.
"I was very humbled by the opportunity. It’s an honor to, first of all, serve alongside the men and women of the Sheriff’s Department, and my partner captains Scott Beard and Eric Utter. But, when I was presented with that opportunity, it was a blessing and I was very humbled," he told KBND News.
Captain Nelson has been with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department for over 20 years, and is currently the Corrections Division Commander. He also serves on the Redmond School Board and has held various community volunteer positions. He says he's already talking with the department's command team, but the final decision as to who will replace Blanton will be up to the County Board of Commissioners.
"I want to meet with each of the commissioners individually, and I met with our county administrator Tom Anderson, and got some information from him, but I want to seek out the commissioners and meet with them individually," Nelson said. "Just to let them know that I look forward to having a smooth transition."
It's still unclear when commissioners will make the interim sheriff decision.