Clatsop County Sheriff John Raichl has announced his selection of 11-year department veteran Tom Bergin as his new chief deputy.

Bergin succeeds Dan Laughman, who retired this summer after 31 years with the Sheriff's Office. Bergin's promotion to the chief deputy was effective Sept. 1.

"Tom was the obvious and unanimous choice of the management team for the promotion," Raichl said. "He proved his leadership ability as a patrol sergeant and supervisor of the inter-agency narcotics task force. He is very dedicated to the law enforcement profession and puts in countless hours of his own time to protect and serve his community."

Bergin has worked in law enforcement for 18 years. He joined the Sheriff's Office in February 1992 as a patrol deputy and was the dog handler on the canine narcotics detective team, a program he developed. He was promoted to patrol sergeant in March 1996. Two years later, he was chosen to supervise and reorganize the Clatsop County Inter-Agency Narcotic Team.

As the detective sergeant, he rewrote policies and re-established working relationships among law enforcement agencies to form a five-person team. In 2002, the Western States Information Network named the Clatsop County unit as the Narcotics Agency of the Year for Oregon. Bergin returned to uniform as a patrol deputy in November 2002.

Before joining the Sheriff's Office, Bergin was a police officer for Seaside for five years and a reserve officer for one year. He holds supervision and advanced certification from the Oregon Department of Pubic Safety Standards and Training. He attended and passed the Oregon Executive Development Institute this year and is helping develop the curriculum for next year's class. He is a member of the Oregon State Sheriff's Association's Operations Command Council and the Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association.

Bergin grew up in Portland and graduated from Wilson High School. As a youth, he surfed in Seaside and moved to that city when he turned 18. He attended Portland State University and Oregon State University. He is married and has two daughters. He is a member of the Astoria Rotary Club.

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