The Marion County Courthouse

There’s a new sheriff in town, although he has been with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for more than two decades.

On Thursday, the Marion County Board of Commissioners selected Cmdr. Joe Kast to replace outgoing Sheriff Jason Myers, who is retiring. Kast will serve until voters pick the next sheriff in the 2020 general election.

Kast, who first joined the agency 24 years ago, will be sworn in July 1, Marion County said in a statement. He will be officially appointed at a June 26 board of commissioners meeting.

As sheriff, Kast will oversee a law enforcement agency serving 300,000 people, about 100,000 of whom live in unincorporated areas. The Sheriff’s Office also heads the county’s parole and probation division, its 415-bed jail and 144-bed transition center. The office has a budget of about $70 million.

Records with the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training show Kast has held the rank of commander since last July.

Kast beat out one other finalist, Oregon State Police Lt. Josh Brooks. Kast’s experience made him a standout, said Commissioner Kevin Cameron.

“He has demonstrated his commitment to community engagement and received broad support from local residents,” Cameron, the board chair, said in a statement.

Myers announced six months ago he’d retire after nearly a decade as Sheriff and nearly 30 years in law enforcement to spend more time with family. He’s taking a new job at the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association and officially steps down June 30.

Have a tip? Contact reporter Troy Brynelson at 503-575-9930, troy@salemreporter.com or @TroyWB.

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