New OSP trooper likes rural life


Ted Vaughn has always wanted to be a Oregon State Police (OSP) Trooper, and he is living his dream as the newest trooper in the Lakeview office.

Before Vaughn became a Trooper, he was with the fire department in Philomath, a small town of around 5,000 people not far from Corvallis. Wanting a little more action he applied first to join the OSP at one of their hiring events. He was not initially accepted, so he then started to work on building up his resume by joining the Philomath City Police Department. He still wanted to serve the public, but was looking for something more exciting.

“It was a good experience, as a smaller department I got to do everything, write search warrants, conduct investigations,” said Vaughn.

During part of his time with the Philomath City Police Department, he worked overnight shifts, and often was the only officer on duty. So he often got back up from the county sheriff’s office.

While at Philomath he was waiting for the OSP to open up for applications once more, and when that happened he immediately applied. The process is rigorous and includes a background check, a psychological evaluation, a medical test and a physical test. There were two interviews, one right after the physical test, which questions his ability to retain basic information under stressful circumstances. The other is with various OSP personnel in an hour long interview with rapid fire questioning.

As a lateral hire, which is when a police officer moves from one department to another, he only had to do the OSP pre-academy where he learned about the rules and regulations that the OSP enforces, as it is a bit different than a police officer or sheriff’s deputy.

As a police officer Vaughn responded to different types of calls throughout his shift whether it was a domestic disturbance, drugs, assault, or more. As a trooper he now focuses on safety on the state highways in the southern portion of Lake County, including vehicle accidents and investigations, along with drug interdiction. This was a surprise to him when he first came to Lakeview. While in Philomath the drug usage was mostly local and for individual use. When he came to Lakeview he quickly found out that drugs around here are mostly geared towards transportation and selling them back east.

He does help out the Lake County Sheriff’s deputies when they need back up. Depending on how many troopers are active when he is on shift determines what part of the county Vaughn will cover. The Lakeview office covers up to Wagontire on Hwy 395 and to Picture Rock Pass on Hwy 31, north of those arees are covered by the La Pine OSP office.

Vaughn grew up on a ranch in the Willamette Valley, and has some family in eastern Oregon.

“I like small towns, and my first three choices were small towns with Lakeview being one of them,” said Vaughn.

He was happy that Lakeview was going to be his post. He still runs cattle on the family ranch. He likes to hunt and fish in his spare time, along with attending the National Finals rodeo in Las Vegas every year with his wife Katie. He and his wife have two young daughters Scarlett, 2 year old, and Amelia, 1.5 month year old.

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