Adult Resource Officer

The Lake Oswego Police Department has a unique position in the Detective Division called the Adult Resource Officer, or "ARO". Officer Tony Sparling has held that position since September 2020, and he has been with Lake Oswego Police Department since August 2006. The ARO is a liaison and resource for vulnerable adults and adults who are 65 years of age and older. He specializes in elder abuse, behavioral health, domestic violence, and substance abuse resources.

The ARO investigates incidents of elder abuse in coordination with Adult Protective Services (APS). He reviews and follows up on incidents from police reports and referrals from community members or Lake Oswego Police Officers. He also works closely with the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, Senior Adult Living Communities, Adult Protective Services, Aging & Disability Resource Connection, Alzheimer’s Association, Senior Loneliness Line, and Coordinated Housing Access.

Officer Sparling stays up to date on current frauds and scams and shares this information with classes at the ACC and senior living facilities. Officer Sparling also participates in several events in the senior community, such as the Mary’s Woods Christmas Parade and Alzheimer’s March.

Officer Sparling is currently part of the Interagency Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), where he coordinates and makes community contacts alongside our Behavioral Health Specialist (BHS).  Together, they contact individuals with non-emergency mental health needs. and they respond to calls for service involving persons in crisis, which frees up patrol officers. The ARO and BHS can help make referrals to Bybee Lakes Hope Center and Unity Center for Behavioral Health when they identify citizens in need of mental health services.

Some of the other duties of the Adult Resource Officer include welfare checks and follow-ups with the Behavior Health Specialist (BHS) and patrol officers, referrals and transportation to A Safe Place for domestic violence victims, and referrals for substance use and recovery. The ARO also makes referrals to county Women’s Services, housing, and Victims' Assistance at the District Attorney’s Office.

The ARO also helps with the Bi-annual drug take-back event with the DEA, during which people can turn in unwanted or expired prescriptions or over-the-counter medications for destruction.

In the Know with the ARO

LOPD Adult Resource Officer Tony Sparling has some helpful tips on how to avoid becoming victims of fraud and scams and how to report them:

Never pay anyone who demands payment by wire transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency. Only scammers ask you to pay these ways because it’s hard to track that money, and almost impossible to get it back. Hang up if it’s a call. If it’s an email, text, or message on social media, don’t click any links.
Don’t wire money, send cash, or use gift cards or cryptocurrency to pay someone who says they’re with the government. Know that the government will never contact you out of the blue, demanding money or information. Hang up. It’s a scam.
Don’t trust your caller ID. It might show the government agency’s real phone number or even say “Social Security Administration,” for example. But caller ID can be faked.

For more information, visit

Check back here for more tips and advice from our ARO.

And now you're in the know!