Lt. Bill Bailey will be the interim supervisor for the new Sisters sheriff’s deputies who will be on patrol later this summer. photo provided
Lt. Bill Bailey will be the interim supervisor for the new Sisters sheriff’s deputies who will be on patrol later this summer. photo provided
The new five-year law enforcement contract between the City of Sisters and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) took effect on July 1. Current Public Information Officer (PIO) for the DCSO, William Bailey, was just promoted from the rank of sergeant to lieutenant and has assumed a six-month assignment as the interim lieutenant in charge of the Sisters office. He will be working with DCSO and City Manager Cory Misley to get the substation remodeled and running at full speed.

Lt. Bailey, a native Oregonian who grew up on the coast in Garibaldi, has been a member of the DCSO for 20 years, two as a reserve officer and 18 as a full-time deputy. For the last three years, he has served as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the DCSO, dealing with the public and the media.

Prior to his position as the PIO, he served as a corrections deputy at the jail for six years. He went on to serve as a patrol officer, a field training officer, a criminal detective, a streets crime detective, and a patrol sergeant supervisor. When social media began gaining traction in area police departments, providing them with their own platforms to communicate with the public, Bailey applied for the new position of PIO. In that position, he provides a single point of contact within the DCSO for the public and the media for accurate information, statistics, and he facilitates interviews with the appropriate person at DCSO.

He is continuing in that role while serving the people of Sisters. He is currently training the sergeant who will replace him. When his Sisters stint is completed, Bailey will join one of four patrol teams throughout the county.

Bailey indicated he has loved serving the office of the sheriff in his PIO position. He worked in Bend out of the sheriff’s office, where he had access to the sheriff.

“My job is to help our department be as transparent and accessible to the public and media as possible,” Bailey said in describing his PIO job. “All we ask is the media be fair and accurate with us.”

After graduating from Garibaldi High School, Bailey joined the Coast Guard after observing them working when he served as a deck hand on a charter boat. He started in the Coast Guard doing mostly safety inspections on boats on the Oregon coast and then served in North Carolina on a 210-foot cutter doing drug interdiction and interacting with Haitian vessels trying to flee to the U.S. He first experienced the DCSO while doing some training with their marine patrol while in the Coast Guard.

After his Coast Guard duty was completed, he ended up Bend, working at G. I. Joe’s where he met and married his wife and has been here ever since. With their two children, Bailey and his wife enjoy outdoor activities and time spent at the beach where Bailey’s parents still live. He also likes to fish and hunt big game.

“When something is new, it’s always exciting,” Bailey said about being a part of the new relation with the City. “It’s exciting for both sides. And we look forward to providing the level of service the City is expecting.”

Besides performing their normal public safety and law enforcement duties, Bailey said Sheriff Shane Nelson wants Sisters residents to know the deputies are available to meet any reasonable personal need of a resident.

Bailey is available to speak to local groups, service organizations, school groups — anyone wanting to know more about policing in the community and programs and services available through the DCSO.

Bailey brings to his interim position in Sisters the desire to always give 110 percent, 20 years of experience in police work, good working relationships with the media, genuine congeniality, a desire to serve the public, and a warm smile.

Bailey said the three permanent deputies have not yet been assigned to duty as new recruits are currently being trained to take the places of more seasoned officers who will be sent to Sisters. Residents may have already noticed a greater police presence around town with more traffic stops in evidence. When the full-time permanent lieutenant and three deputies are based here, the citizens, businesspeople, and police officers will be able to get to know one another and form relationships.

In addition to Sisters’ own DCSO officers, the “west car,” which has always patrolled the greater Sisters area and beyond, will still be in service. Our officers will be on duty in Sisters with four 10-hour shifts, two during the day and two at night, leaving the west car to respond between about 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. when things are pretty buttoned up in Sisters.

Their patrol cars will be identical to the current black and white DCSO vehicles but will also have the City of Sisters logo or name on it. The officers will be able to be out of their cars, walking the streets, or on their bikes, meeting and talking with residents and tourists, while having the call responsibilities within the City limits. With two officers on a shift, there will be coverage when one has to appear in court, attend trainings, or take time off.