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Deputy Sheriff Joseph Omlin, III | Curry County Sheriff's Office, Oregon Curry County Sheriff's Office, Oregon

Deputy Sheriff

Joseph Omlin, III

Curry County Sheriff's Office, Oregon

End of Watch: Monday, July 11, 1983

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 36

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Aircraft accident

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Deputy Joseph Omlin and Trooper Donald Smith of the Oregon State Police were killed in an aircraft accident while on a marijuana observation flight in a remote wilderness area in southern Oregon.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Trooper Donald E. Smith
Oregon State Police, Oregon
End of Watch: Monday, July 11, 1983
Cause: Aircraft accident

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Most Recent Reflection

Joe and "Big Don" were two of my best friends...and I was their dispatcher ( we also dispatched for Oregon State Police on swing and grave yard shifts ) I was the last person from Curry County Sheriff's Office to talk to Joe that day as he readied himself for that flight. We had talked and he told me where they had intended to fly looking for marijuana and said they might drop into Cave Junction for lunch. As he was starting out the door I called to him...do you have your portable ( hand held radio ) and he said no and went back to the patrol office to pick one up...and said thanks Bake Bake ( that is what he called me ) and off he went...forever. They were lost on my shift ( day ) and we could not find them......USCG brought in a hilo and Sgt. Tom Benz of Oregon State Police flew with them to try and find them...they were my best friends so I just could not leave my dispatch so worked for 36 hours until their plane was located at the Green Wall on the Illinois River. One of the saddest days of my life!! Joe was road patrol Sgt., marine patrol, and search and rescue leader...and he handled all 3 jobs very well. We hired 2 men to replace him. He and Don will always live in my heart with the most wonderful memories. Great job my friends!!

Deputy Karen Baker, Retired
Curry County Sheriff's Office
October 20, 2011


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