July 15, 2024 9:10 pm

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Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office of Neighborhoods is back!

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., January 19, 2023—Today, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office announced that after a six-month hiatus, the Office of Neighborhoods (OON) outreach team is back in the field helping Snohomish County residents.

Founded in 2015, OON began as a part of the city of Everett’s safe street initiative, a multi-agency task force comprised of different organizations and businesses within the community, working to develop creative and innovative solutions to homelessness throughout the county. In June of last year, the Sheriff’s Office announced a reassignment of specialty units to patrol to offset staffing shortages and provide a safer working environment for deputies. 

In June of last year there were 27 deputy vacancies, Courtney O’Keefe, Director of Communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, shared with the Lynnwood Times. The three specialty units impacted by the staff reassignments to fill vacancies were:

  • Office of Neighborhoods, 4 positions
  • Directed Patrol, 2 positions
  • K-9, 5 positions

In today’s Facebook post on January 19, 2023, the Sheriff’s Office shared that the Office of Neighborhoods will return under the continued leadership of Sgt. James Chelin. Resident comments left on the Facebook posting reinstating OON was overwhelmingly positive.

Office of Neighborhoods
Office of Neighborhoods
Office of Neighborhoods
Office of Neighborhoods
Office of Neighborhoods

The OON team includes Law Enforcement Embedded Social Workers (LEESWs) with Snohomish County Human Services who help unsheltered individuals locate and navigate social and health services – and lessen the likelihood of re-offending, having law enforcement contact, or being incarcerated. It teams up law enforcement with social workers who go out into the field and connect with unsheltered and vulnerable populations in the county. The team works to locate and identify individuals struggling with behavioral health and/or substance use disorder.

For residents interested in additional information or to contact our OON outreach team, click here.

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