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Jefferson County

Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins announces retirement plans

Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins
Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins

To step down June 30; recommends Undersheriff Marc Heckathorn as successor

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins, a 35-year veteran of the sheriff’s office for 35 years and its leader for over a decade, said Tuesday he plans to retire June 30, and is recommending county commissioners appoint Undersheriff Marc Heckathorn as his successor.

Adkins, 57, told NewsChannel 21 that with the current, three-year jail operating levy set to expire in June of 2022, it’s a “perfect opportunity for someone who has a lot more energy than me to get out and sell it for themselves.”

Adkins said he recently informed county commissioners of his plans and offered strong support for Heckathorn, who will need to run for a full term in November.

“I’ve put him out there in the lead for several things over the last year and a half,” Adkins said, and county commissioners are “very comfortable with him."

He said the county leaders will be acknowledging his retirement on Wednesday and that it’ll probably be “a couple weeks or a month until they take action” on appointing his successor.

Adkins began as a marine patrol deputy in 1986 and served in various roles, including undersheriff for four years, before being appointed sheriff in 2010, then elected that fall to a full four-year term.

Asked what he’s most proud of during his tenure, Adkins said, “I think it’s the camaraderie that was brought” to the department, as well as “getting those jail levies passed.”

Adkins said he doesn’t plan to do any consulting, for example, after his retirement. “I’ve got several projects around the house and home” to tackle, he said.

Government-politics / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



    1. Sadly it should be, adkins could be stepping down in time for the may election clearly, but instead hes waiting a month so he can hand pick a successor incumbent instead of letting the voters just choose… the same problem has been happening in deschutes county for decades and our sheriffs keep going downhill even as the other departments are improving- folks deserve to pick their own incumbent and not have it forced on them!

      1. Common practice that allows for a smooth transition and yes the voters still get a choice at the next election period if they are not satisfied with what they are seeing.

      2. What a callous and idiotic comment Mous….Adkins was stellar. Heckathorn is rock solid. Voters will choose at the General Election. This is not an uncommon event. What kind of community public service did you do for 35 years???

    2. Well, yes. By definition it is.

      Definition of news
      1a: a report of recent events
      b: previously unknown information
      c: something having a specified influence or effect
      2a: material reported in a newspaper or news periodical or on a newscast

      See? You are incorrect.

  1. No. Its not news. Its a human interest story. Something that is nice to see instead of depressing news. Keep up the good work Barney.

  2. A dedicated public servant who has served for 35 years. Always a positive leader in Jefferson County. On behalf of a retied Fire Captain, my family THANKS Sheriff Adkins for his dedicated service and sacrifice and wish him the very best in his retirement as a new chapter of his life opens. God bless you Sheriff Adkins. Thanks for the update Barney. YES, this is news that deserves to be shared.

  3. Thank you for your service, Sheriff Adkins. You have stepped in to provide your expertise on a number of occasions when the MPD police were absent or ineffectual. I have not had any encounters with Marc Heckathorn, but I wish him success.

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