Athena Boy Chosen as 'Sheriff for a Day'


An Athena boy was selected to serve as Umatilla County Sheriff of the Day.

Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan and his staff at sheriff’s office were among the law enforcement agencies taking part in the popular Chief or Sheriff for a Day program. The office selected 11-year-old Clay Thornton.

Sponsored by the Walla Walla Police Department and Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office, the program invites a local child with physical, mental or medical challenges to be the chief or sheriff for a day. The selected child is provided with a full uniform, badge and name plate from their respective agency, and the sheriff or chief and the child participate in a number of public events including:

• An announcement assembly at their school
• Picture day and luncheon
• Swearing in ceremony during the National Night Out events in Walla Walla
• A ride with the Sheriff in the Parade of Emergency Vehicles during the Walla Walla Frontier Days Parade

Clay attends Weston Middle School. Clay was selected by the committee after his grandmother, Jill Stiffler, nominated him. According to his grandmother, Clay lives with severe hemophilia and has autism. Stiffler said Clay is talented, bright, talkative and friendly, and he “knows no strangers.”

On May 31st, Sheriff Rowan attended the assembly at Weston Middle School and announced that Clay was the “Sheriff for a Day.”