SHPD Honored by FBI, Eugene Police & City Council

Kristy Tallman

The City Council meeting on Feb 16, 2024, bore witness to a moment of recognition and appreciation for the law enforcement officers of the Sweet Home Police Department (SHPD), particularly Detective Sean Potter, for their exceptional efforts in coordinating with the FBI to neutralize a potentially grave threat to the community.

Mayor Coleman took the floor during the council meeting to share letters of gratitude and commendation addressed to the SHPD, specifically highlighting Potter’s pivotal role in apprehending a suspect armed with multiple firearms. The collaborative efforts of Detective Potter, Officer Daniel Gerkman, Sergeant Geoff Hamlin, Sergeant Dave Hickox, and Captain Ryan Cummings were praised for their effectiveness in averting a potential crisis.

“FBI Special Agent Hunter Fikes expressed his deep appreciation for the outstanding assistance provided by our department, specifically detective Sean Potter and our group of patrol officers who dealt with a threat case involving a subject in our city,” said Mayor Coleman.

Among the letters read aloud were commendations from FBI Special Agent Hunter Fikes and Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner, who praised the officers for their courage, dedication, and professionalism in swiftly addressing the situation. The letters underscored the significance of the collaborative efforts between local law enforcement and federal agencies in ensuring the safety and security of the community.

In recognition of their outstanding service, Mayor Coleman presented the Sweet Home Police Department with a plaque honoring their commitment to safeguarding the community. The gesture symbolized the city’s appreciation for the officers’ unwavering dedication and valor in the face of adversity.

“I just want to say thank you all so much. There’s times in people’s careers, when in my career, I feel so honored to even be a part of a team like this. And what you all did, it could have turned out so incredibly different and you have saved, we don’t know how many lives,” said Coleman as she presented the plaque.

Several officers, including Detective Sean Potter, were present to receive the commendations. The Mayor, along with members of the City Council, expressed their gratitude and admiration for the officers’ life-saving actions.

Letter From FBI Special Agent Hunter Fikes

I want to take a moment to commend and extend my appreciation for the outstanding assistance provided by the Sweet Home Police Department, specifically Detective Sean Potter, and the group of patrol officers who dealt with a threat case involving a suspect in Sweet Home.

This case spun up late one afternoon around 5 pm. I quickly called Detective Potter, whom I have not met in person, and received his contact information through Tim. He immediately answered and was willing to help and provide whatever assistance the FBI needed. Detective Potter and his team coordinated and collaborated exceptionally well to eventually be able to stop the suspect’s vehicle and arrest the suspect, thus mitigating the threat to the community.

During the stop, the vehicle was searched, and there was a total of eight firearms found in the vehicle, including a stolen shotgun, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition and ballistic armor and plates. I believe the next day was Detective Potter’s RTO. Despite his RTO, Potter came back into work and got to work on an ERP to an extreme risk protection order and successfully executed the ERP the same day. Incredible and timely work by Potter and his team.

This case is being handled by Linn County’s DA’s office, and they are seeking an enhanced sentence. This outcome would not have been possible without the hard work by Potter and the rest of the Sweet Home PD.

Detective Potter’s professionalism and attention to detail were truly commendable throughout this process. His commitment to seeking justice and ensuring the safety of the community is evident in the thoroughness of his work, specifically in this case. I’m incredibly thankful for Detective Potter’s tireless efforts in handling this case, as well as everyone else who worked on it; his willingness to go above and beyond expectations has made a significant impact in the resolution of this matter.

Not often do I get to work with these types of officers who are willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice to handle a case that would have posed great dangers to the community. Please convey my appreciation to Detective Potter and the rest of the Sweet Home PD for their exceptional service. It is definitely reassuring to know that we have such dedicated individuals working in police departments in our area who we can count on at a moment’s notice. The community of Sweet Home should consider themselves lucky to have such great folks working for them.

Letter From The Chief Of

Police, Chris Skinner,

Eugene Police Department:

Dear Chief Ogden,

I hope this letter finds you well. I’m writing to express my appreciation for the outstanding work conducted by your department last week. We were notified Thursday evening of a threat to our agency that the FBI was investigating. The suspect was in the Sweet Home area, and the agent contacted Detective Sean Potter for assistance. We deeply appreciate Detective Potter’s willingness to immediately shift his focus onto this case. His efforts in locating, surveying, and coordinating the apprehension of the suspect, followed by the thorough follow-up work to seize the suspect’s firearms, serve a search warrant, and facilitate an extreme risk protection order from the court are commendable and deeply appreciated by the staff at the Eugene Police Department.

Additionally, I want to express our appreciation to Officer Daniel Gerkman for conducting the stop and DUI investigation, Sergeant Jeff Hamlin for his assisting at the stop, Sergeant Hickox for his work on the search warrant the next day, and Captain Ryan Cummings for facilitating the extreme risk protection order. This was clearly a team effort from the Sweet Home Police Department.

Once again, thank you for the exceptional efforts of Detective Potter, Officer Gerkman, Sergeant Hamlin, Sergeant Hickox, and Captain Cummings and the entire Sweet Home Police Department.