A new officer recently joined the ranks of the Town of Lakeview Police Department, sworn into duty formally by Mayor Mike Patrick during the Tuesday, Feb. 11, Town Council meeting.
Matt Gray is the newest addition to the Town’s police force, hired in late December of last year and officially beginning his duties on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
Gray is no stranger to Lakeview, as the 1986 Lakeview High School graduate who was born in Burns, originally moved to the area early in his childhood years – at age three, more specifically – and in the 1990s gained valuable local law enforcement experience.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in criminology and a minor in philosophy through Southern Oregon State University in 1990, Gray earned a law degree from Willamette University in 1993. He said that his interest in a law degree stemmed from a desire to become an FBI agent, but at the time his career aspirations were quashed by a federal hiring freeze instituted by President Clinton.
As a result, Gray shifted gears and decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. In the early 1990s, his brother worked as a corrections deputy for the sheriff’s department, and through interactions with local officers, Gray found encouragement in pursing that career path, as well.
“It was always an interest,” he said, noting he’d served as a reserve town police officer beginning in June 1994, as well as a corrections deputy for the Lake County Sheriff’s Department between April and June of 1995. Starting in July of that year, Gray went to work for the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department as a patrol deputy, a position he held for some 18.5 years.
Gray left Clackamas County as an acting patrol sergeant in good standing to take the position offered in Lakeview.
“Lakeview always has been my home,” he said, “and always will be my home.”
The availability of a position with the Town of Lakeview’s police agency coincided with efforts to purchase a vacation home in the area early in 2013, he said. It was serendipitous that an employment opportunity came along to afford a full-time move back to his old hometown, and he welcomed the chance to get back to his roots.
Gray also said he enjoyed a very positive working relationship with the Clackamas sheriff’s agency, but felt the move back to Lakeview was the right career choice.
“People are friendly, and they have time for each other,” he said, “and they look after each other. The Portland area was never home.”
For more information, contact the Town of Lakeview Police Department at 541-947-2504.