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Mission and Guiding Principles

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How the Washington County Sheriff's Office Mission and Guiding Principles were created:


The Story:

In 2010, at the directive of Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder, a special committee comprised of a cross-section of employees from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and members of our local community was formed.  The 41-member committee convened on November 3-4, 2010 to receive training and guidance from Richard M. Ayers on how to develop the Sheriff’s Office Mission and Guiding Principles.

The goal of the committee was to develop a set of core beliefs (what we stand for – our guiding principles) and an enduring purpose (our mission) for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff Helder would then add a clear vision (direction) for the Sheriff’s Office.

The committee initially selected fourteen guiding principles we felt were important core beliefs for our organization.  We then narrowed the selection to five guiding principles.  The final selection contains the four guiding principles we felt were the most important core beliefs in guiding our organization.

The committee then condensed them into the Sheriff's Office Creed, and Sheriff Helder added his vision for the Washington County Sheriff's Office and our employees.


We, the men and women of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with the community, are dedicated to improving the quality of life by providing the highest level of service through education and open communication.  We maintain order, protect life and property and reduce the fear of crime.  We provide a safe, humane and secure detention center and court services by upholding the Constitution of the United States and the State of Arkansas.  We are guided by the principles of integrity, professionalism, respect, and fairness.



Integrity is the cornerstone of our moral character.  As role models we will be courageous in holding ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards to ensure the trust of those we serve.


Professionalism is the standard by which we perform all our duties.  We provide quality service to the community by being self- disciplined, well trained and knowledgeable.   We demonstrate competence through proper conduct, attitude and appearance.   


Respect is our pledge to treat everyone with dignity, understanding and compassion.  We recognize and value the diversity of our community.


Fairness is the path we follow by conducting ourselves in a consistent and impartial manner in service to all.


I pledge before God and my Community to faithfully perform my duties with integrity, professionalism, respect and fairness.  I will bring a good attitude to work and take responsibility for all my actions.  I will have the courage to do the right thing for the right reasons without exception.


To be model leaders in law enforcement.  To be known as men and women who serve others above self with integrity and without compromise.  To be premier examples of professionalism and display vigilance in safeguarding our community.