Deputy Sheriff Chris Gardner ALIYA HALL/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
Law enforcement was always a goal of Deputy Sheriff Chris Gardner. In high school, he even focused his senior project on the career, specifically in Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT). A role he also takes on with the Lane County SWAT team.
”I was always that person that if someone broke down on the side of the road I’d go help,” he said. ”I always liked the idea of helping someone in some way.”
Although it took awhile for him to get through the process because he had a family young, he was finally hired at 25 by the County. He said that the process is long, first starting out with an application, physical agility course, written test, oral board interview, background check and ending in a psychological evaluation.
Now at 29, he’s enjoying the different challenges and experiences that Creswell can offer. He related a story about a stolen quad, where he said he knows exactly who stole it, and has been trying to hunt him down, even though as of yet it’s been unsuccessful.
”But just in that aspect, they don’t have time in the main office to track town every property crime. That’s nice (about Creswell), I enjoy that,” he said about the manhunt.
Although there’s been a lot for Gardner to learn, which is a challenge, he said another personal challenge has been report writing.
”I’ve never been strong at report writing; I never enjoyed it,” he said. ”You hear about report writing as you get into it, but you don’t realize how much there really is – especially if you’re slow like me. I spend a lot more time writing than playing, that’s definitely one of my weaknesses.”
When it comes to strengths, however, Gardner said that comes from his life experiences. Although he doesn’t consider himself having a special skill, he said that he’s open minded and treats everyone like the humans they are.
”It’s just growing up and watching things, and seeing what I want the world to be,” he said.
Gardner said he’s been getting lucky with tasks he’s been assigned, and moving forward he wants to continue to experiment with all different kinds of positions. One day he might try to move into a sergeant position, but he said he wants to do that later on in his career.
For the moment, he is working on getting more experience with search warrants through a class in Sept. He wants to use that to help target some of the drug houses in the area.
Although Gardner is committed to keeping Creswell residents safe, he also said there are steps residents can take to protect themselves.
”Driving around at night, houses are pitch black,” he said. ”Be alert to that. Shrubbery makes it easy for people to get close to houses. We offer things at the sheriff’s office on how to make your house a fortress. Even just turning on lights – (criminals) like to hide in the shadows.”