Undersheriff retires after 30 years with department

Paul Timm, 55, readily admits he’s enjoyed his 30 years with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the last three as undersheriff to Sheriff Jim Yon.

Perhaps the fact that he has more than 2,800 hours of sick leave still on the books is a testament to his dedication.

“I’ve been sick and I’ve missed a few days, but it was usually on a weekend,” Timm said. “I missed three days once in 2006, but I took vacation time.”

Timm isn’t a Linn County native, but he’s lived here since he was four years old. He followed his family in a long line of law enforcement duties. His father, Paul, was a long-term Oregon State Police trooper. Two brothers were in police services, as are cousins in Minnesota.

Timm officially retired in June, but he stayed on for a couple months to help during vacation season. But at the end of August, he’ll start working on projects around his home. In September he and his wife, Sandy, are headed to the Midwest on vacation, where they plan to visit Yellowstone National Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota 

Timm graduated from West Albany High in 1984, worked at Coastal Farm & Ranch and then enlisted in the Navy in 1986.

“At that time, Oregon State Police wanted you to be at least 21,” Timm said.

He served aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz for three years, where he visited numerous foreign lands.

“I’ve been to every continent except Australia and Antarctica,” Timm said. “I really enjoyed that.”

After his 1989 discharge, Timm returned to Albany and earned a degree in criminal justice from Linn-Benton Community College in 1991.

Timm was hired by Sheriff Art Martinak, the first of five sheriffs he would work with during his career. The others were Dave Burright, Tim Mueller, Bruce Riley and Jim Yon. But after only two months, he became a resident deputy in Harrisburg.

“It was great,” Timm said. “People would actually bring me freshly baked cookies.”

During his Navy years, Timm worked in aviation supply. He was responsible for thousands of parts for the jets aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. Such attention to detail has served him well at the LCSO, where he’s served in a variety of positions. In 1994, Timm became a courthouse deputy, and in 1997, he moved into the detective division. He worked patrol – which he enjoyed – and was promoted to traffic corporal, detective sergeant in 1999 and detective captain in 2005.

Timm said he always liked working criminal investigations. In the early years, that included everything from property crimes to homicides. Now, detectives specialize in areas such as sexual abuse, homicide, property crimes and computer forensics.  He also served in hostage negotiation, and was the SWAT commander and detective captain.

Although he used computers extensively in the Navy, Timm said they were few and far between when he first came to the Sheriff’s Office. There were no cell phones, although deputies had pagers.

Timm – who has also served as rangemaster – bought his own .357 revolver and there were .30-.30 lever action rifles in the patrol cars.

“I may go to work some time later, but I’ve got plenty to do for now,” Timm said.

Timm and Sheriff Yon have worked together for 28 years and Yon said he will miss Timm’s professionalism.

“Paul is absolutely dedicated to the craft of what we do,” Yon said. “He’s dedicated to his officers and the people we serve. He always demanded excellence and he got it. We’ve worked together for 28 years and I will miss my friend.”

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer