BURNS, OR -- With law enforcement from all over the state continuing to patrol Harney County, the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association (OSSA) is trying to answer the question of when the standoff at the Wildlife Refuge will end. In a statement issued Thursday, the OSSA said it’s not up to them. Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward explains, "What’s going on down on the federal refuge is being handled by the FBI. On the other side of the coin, we have our community: our streets, our highways and our neighborhoods, which, we have brought in numerous agencies to assist us in maintaining order and peace within our community."
Watch the latest video from Sheriff Dave Ward.
Sheriff Ward says he appreciates the continued support from other agencies. "The number of law enforcement officers that we have in this town, be they deputies, troopers, police officers from around the state, are here to assist me in making sure that our schools are safe, our neighborhoods are safe, our streets are safe." He says they're key to maintaining order and safety, "Making sure that our citizens don’t feel bullied or intimidated, that people can lay their head down on their pillow at night and not feel threatened, that regardless of what your occupation is or who you work for, that you can have peace of mind. And, I assure you that every violation and crime that happens off that refuge is going to be dealt with, and it’s going to be dealt with swiftly."
OSSA President Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe praised Sheriff Ward, saying he has worked “tirelessly to peacefully defuse the situation.” Wolfe says the OSSA will continue to offer support in Harney County until the situation is resolved.