Dan O'Loughlin, on board in Sherwood for only weeks, has worked in law enforcement for decades.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - Dan O'Loughlin, known as DanO, became a captain at the Sherwood Police Department only weeks ago. The Sherwood Police Department is welcoming its newest police captain, Dan O'Loughlin.

O'Laughlin comes to Sherwood having worked for nearly 30 years in law enforcement, as close by as Hillsboro and as far away as Canada.

There has been a bit of reshuffling in the Sherwood Police Department over the past several months, following the departure of longtime chief Jeff Groth.

Ty Hanlon, who is now police chief, was formerly a captain along with Jon Carlson. When Groth left, and Hanlon took over, that left an opening for captain, which O'Loughlin — who likes to be called "DanO" — was able to fill.

It was one of his neighbors in Canada who inspired O'Loughlin to get into law enforcement.

"My parents were friends with that family, and the gentleman in that family was a police officer," O'Loughlin said. "He was actually an undercover drugs and narcotics officer."

Being in high school at the time, O'Loughlin, who had been thinking of becoming a schoolteacher, recalled taking a police ride-along with his neighbor.

Afterward, O'Loughlin said, he thought, "This is amazing. It's a great career."

Of his family friend, O'Laughlin added, "He showed me what he did, but then I also met other police officers that worked patrol."

Although O'Loughlin still pondered the thought of becoming a schoolteacher, he eventually went to college and received an associate's degree in policing.

"As I went through that, I continued to fall in love with that (law enforcement)," he said. "That became my passion, to make that my career."

O'Loughlin has spent nearly three decades in law enforcement, having worked four years as a constable in Edmonton, Alberta, and about four years with the Coos Bay Police Department in Southern Oregon.

Before joining the Sherwood Police Department, O'Loughlin served two decades with the Hillsboro Police Department, leaving there as a lieutenant.

His law enforcement background includes serving as a school resource officer, a patrol officer, and a field trainer. For a time, O'Loughlin was on a SWAT team. Like the friend who inspired him to go into law enforcement, he also spent time as a narcotics detective, which included undercover work.

"I transitioned into management and became a sergeant," he said. "I was sergeant in Hillsboro for probably about 10 years. I was a lieutenant there for three years."

O'Loughlin has been on the job in Sherwood for only a handful of weeks, but already, he sees the city as a good fit for him.

"When I came from being a constable up in Canada, I worked for a small agency up there that would be similar in size to what Sherwood would be," O'Loughlin said, noting he lives in Sherwood, too.

"I love the community," he added. "I've been here probably about seven years."

O'Loughlin is getting to know his fellow officers at Sherwood police headquarters.

"It has been really, really good," he said. "They've been really welcoming. I know some of them just from having a long career here in Washington County. … They have all been super-welcoming."

O'Loughlin added, "For the first month, it has really been my goal to try to figure out what their culture is like here … see how they do business and see how they operate. So far, it has been really good."

As to challenges to policing in Sherwood, as compared with neighboring Hillsboro, O'Loughlin said, "Crime exists in small cities and large cities. It's all proportionate to population, in a lot of regards."

Speaking of the community of Sherwood, O'Loughlin added, "This is a very dialed-in city. This city has business owners and community members that get it. They understand what they want from their city, and they understand what they want from their police department, and they're not afraid to voice it, and that's good."

O'Loughlin added, "I think the police department is doing a really good job here in Sherwood of listening to the citizens the best they can, to try to meet their needs the best they can."

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