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Hero Down: Benton County Deputy Paul Lancaster Dies Unexpectedly

Albany, OR – Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Deputy Paul Lancaster died unexpectedly at his home on June 10.

Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall confirmed the 30-year-old deputy’s death in a Facebook post the following day.

“It is with a heavy heart Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall announces the untimely passing of Benton County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputy Paul Lancaster,” the agency’s post read. “Deputy Lancaster was found deceased in his home in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 10th in Albany, OR.”

His exact cause of death has not been released.

Deputy Lancaster began serving the BCSO as a reserve deputy in January of 2016.

He was hired as a full-time jail deputy in October of the following year, and served in that capacity until March of 2019, when he became a patrol deputy, according to the BCSO.

Deputy Lancaster worked at the Linn County Juvenile Department and the Children’s Farm Home prior to his career in law enforcement, according to his obituary.

“He embodied the law enforcement mantra, ‘to protect and to serve,’ in everything he did,” the tribute read. “His family is deeply proud of his work as a police officer and his service to his community. His kindness and big heart means he leaves behind countless friends.”

Deputy Lancaster leaves behind his wife and middle school sweetheart, Savannah, as well as his children, six-year-old Chayce and two-year-old Charlee.

He is also survived by his parents, siblings, in-laws, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews.

A fundraising page established to help his family in the wake of their loss has raised over $45,000 so far.

“BCSO expresses its deepest sympathies to Deputy Lancaster’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague,” the sheriff’s office said.

“The tremendous support we have received from surrounding agencies and the Benton County community has been overwhelmingly warm and generous. We’re very grateful for everyone’s kindness during this difficult time,” the BCSO’s post read.

Deputy Lancaster will be laid to rest on Saturday, according to his obituary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Benton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Paul Lancaster, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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