Message from the Sheriff of Wallowa County
Wallowa County is a beautiful place to live, work, and play. The Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office strives to provide community service through public safety to support and enrich the quality of life for our citizens and our visitors. The Sheriff’s Office provides professional law enforcement, emergency dispatch, civil service, and concealed handgun license services for our community. We are responsive to your emergency needs 24/7 and look forward to working with you in keeping our community a safe, prosperous and enjoyable place to live.
Thank you for visiting our website.
Wallowa County Sheriff
Joel Fish has almost twenty-eight years of full-time law enforcement experience. Joel began his career as a police officer with the City of Hickory, North Carolina, in March 1987. Joel enlisted in the U. S. Air Force in 1989 and served as a Security Police Officer. Joel was stationed in Keflavik, Iceland and Bossier City, Louisiana during his time in service. Joel served as a deputy sheriff and detective sergeant for the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office in Statesville, North Carolina prior to joining the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office in 1998. Joel was promoted up through the ranks before obtaining the rank of captain. Joel served at different times as captain of the Criminal Investigation/Narcotics Division, the Patrol Division, and the Community Relations Division, which included court security, crime prevention, and school resource officers. Joel also served as the lead firearms instructor/range master, the Crisis Intervention Team leader, and the Search Team leader.
While working for Catawba County, Joel obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Gardner-Webb University and his Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice/Criminology from Appalachian State University. Joel also worked as an adjunct professor for Gardner-Webb University and as an instructor for Catawba Valley Community College at night.
In May 2016, Joel retired after eighteen years with Catawba County and became the Chief of Police for the City of Enterprise, Oregon. Joel became involved with the school and the community. Citizens of Wallowa County encouraged Joel to run for the Wallowa County Office of Sheriff. In November 2020, Joel was elected as Wallowa County Sheriff and took office on January 4, 2021. Sheriff Fish continues to serve on various boards and committees. He is also working to be more involved with the county schools.
Joel has been married to his wife Cathy for thirty-one years. They have a teenage son at home and a daughter who works as a mental health therapist in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Wallowa County Sheriffs:
Sheriff R. H. Coshow – April 6, 1887 to September 8, 1887
Sheriff Frank L. Brown – September 8, 1887 to April 1888, Died in Office
Sheriff Samuel Amey – April 7, 1888 to July 1888
Sheriff O. H. Rinehart – July 1888 to February 15, 1890
Sheriff D. B. Reavis – February 15, 1890 to July 1890
Sheriff Thomas Humphreys – July 1890 to July 1894
Sheriff M. R. Neal – July 1894 to July 1896
Sheriff Elmer Johnston Forsythe – July 1896 to July 1898
Sheriff J. A. French – July 1898 to July 1900
Sheriff Hiram C. Cramer – July 1900 to July 1902
Sheriff J. C. Shackleford – July 1902 to July 1904
Sheriff James M. Blakely – July 1904 to July 1908
Sheriff Oliver Edgar Marvin – July 1908 to January 1917
Sheriff Frederick David Rinehart – January 1917 to January 1925
Sheriff Albert Burton “Burt” Miller – January 1925 to July 1, 1948
Sheriff Gayle Stockdale – July 1, 1948 to January 3, 1949
Sheriff Gilbert “Gib” Cox – January 3, 1949 to October 26, 1950; Called back to military service
Sheriff Clarence Booth – October 26, 1950 to August 1955, Died in Office
Sheriff Mark Benjamin Marks – September 15, 1955 to January 1957
Sheriff Richard N. O’Brien – January 1957 to June 1959, Died in Office
Sheriff Mark Benjamin Marks – July 10, 1959 to September 1971
Sheriff John Edward Duckworth – September 1971 to March 1975
Sheriff Guy Davis – March 1975 to March 1978
Sheriff Jody Williamson – March 1978 to May 1984
Sheriff Roger Alan Decker – May 1984 to December 1996
Sheriff Ron Jett – December 23, 1996 to December 18, 2000
Sheriff Fred Steen – December 18, 2000 to January 7, 2013
Sheriff Steve Rogers – January 7, 2013 to January 4, 2021
Sheriff Joel Fish – January 4, 2021 to present