BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners formally appointed Capt. Shane Nelson to the position of Sheriff, effective July first. Larry Blanton announced in December that he would step down after seven years as Deschutes County Sheriff, and immediately began lobbying for Capt. Nelson to become interim sheriff. During Wednesday morning's Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Tammy Baney called it a "bittersweet day," and the full board thanked Sheriff Blanton for his dedication to the county.
Nelson says he doesn’t plan to make any dramatic changes. "I look forward to continuing to build on Sheriff Blanton’s legacy and our office’s reputation of proudly serving our community." He adds, "Of course, we all have some challenges that will continue, such as how we deal with the mentally ill folks in our jail. So, we’ll continue to look at those challenges." Capt. Nelson tells KBND News he plans to file in September to run for election in 2016.
Nelson was born and raised in Bend and has been with the Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years. He is also a current member of the Redmond School Board. His school board term ends June 30th - the day before he takes over as Sheriff.