There is no city of Acton, Oregon. Nor, to my knowledge, is there a “Hazy Mountain” in that state. All other place names in this story are real.
Despite movies you might have seen, there is no such thing as a “town sheriff.” That position has always been filled through a COUNTY election; and the position of Sheriff, as well as his or her jurisdiction, is akin to other county officials, such as clerks, judges, tax assessors, highway commissioners; the list goes on and on. The law-enforcement function of a town or city (including county seats) is done through a police department, headed by a “Chief of Police,” who is appointed by a mayor or a city council. In my little tale, I needed a colorful, independently-elected lawman in a small city environment; and so, I conjured up a sheriff. My apologies to the real Lane County Sheriff’s Department, which is in Eugene. Alas, they did not make it through the apocalypse.