BEND, OR -- Deschutes County’s ninth and current Sheriff - Shane Nelson - honored the seventh Sheriff - Les Stiles during a special dedication ceremony Wednesday, "By my order as your Sheriff, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office main campus was proclaimed the Les Stiles Justice Center."
The renaming actually occurred in December, after Nelson learned Stiles was terminally ill. "I was really happy that we were able to put some things together and let Les know how we wanted to honor him while he was still with us," Sheriff Nelson told the crowd of Stiles' friends and family, "And of course, Carol told me he appropriately responded, ‘I don’t deserve this.’ Because he didn’t do the work to be recognized. He did the work to better the office and better the community." Stiles died in early January.
Nelson credits Stiles for creating lasting programs and policies for the agency, "Together with his wife Carol, he established our Shop with a Cop program. The budget for the first event, 23 years ago, was a few thousand dollars, helping 10 kids and their families. Today, the program helps over 110 kids and 600 family members." He also founded the COPY program and helped pass a ballot measure providing DCSO with a stable funding source. "His service had a significant positive impact on the future of our office and service to our community," Nelson said Wednesday, "He believed in fostering leadership at every level."
After Stiles retired from Deschutes County, he served as Prineville’s interim police chief and launched his own consultant practice.