DISCLAIMER: The information herein is provided by the respective agency and is only as accurate and as up-to-date as the agency representative(s) update this information. PST is not responsible for the veracity of this data as it is provided directly from the agency. It is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to verify any information about the agency with the agency.

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office

  • Contact Information

    Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office
    312 SW 1st Avenue
    Kelso, Washington 98626
    Phone: 360-577-3092
    Department Website

Agency Added: 05/15/2007 | Last updated: 02/13/2017

Community Information

Cowlitz County has approximately 100,000 residents, an estimated 45% of the population lives in the unincorporated area of the county. Cowlitz County is located along the I-5 corridor, with its county seat being Kelso. Kelso is located 45 miles north of Portland, Oregon and 75 miles east of the Washington Coast.

Cowlitz County is referred to as the gateway to Mt. St. Helens and offers unique recreational activities. If you enjoy fishing the Cowlitz, Kalama, and Lewis Rivers are three of the finest salmon and steelhead rivers in the state. The county also is known for its hunting opportunities.

Cowlitz County offers a rural atmosphere, though close to a large metropolitan area, with affordable housing.

Department Information

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is a general authority law enforcement agency. The Sheriff's Office is made up of five bureaus; Administration, Patrol, Detectives, Services, and Civil. All commissioned personnel are assigned take home vehicles. Shifts start when you check on the radio. Commissioned personnel work four 10 ½ hour days and is rotational for days off. Patrol shifts routinely rotate from nights to days and days off, which allows for weekends off approximately every four weeks, for a period of approximately four weeks. This schedule averages approximately 2,050 hours worked per year, as opposed to the traditional 2,080 annual hours.

Area Information

  • Population Size: 100,000
  • County: Cowlitz

Agency Requirements:

Category Requirement Required at time of..
Test Hire
Minimum Age 21   X
US Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. X  
High School Grad/ GED Yes X  
Driver's License Required Yes X  
Felony Conviction(s) as an Adult Felony conviction is an automatic disqualifier. X  
Felony Conviction(s) as a Juvenile Felony conviction is an automatic disqualifier. X  
Ability to Read & Write the English Language Yes X  
Vision Requirements Must be able to meet the minimum standards for membership in the LEOFF retirement system. Refer WAC 415-104-510 and WAC 415-104-595. X  
Basic Law Enforcement Academy Certification Newly hired deputies will attend basic law enforcement academy.    
Other Candidates must successfully pass the Physical Fitness and Abilities Test for this agency.

This agency does not allow out of state testing.
Multiple Scores from Same Applicant We only consider the most recent score    

Agency Disqualifiers:


Category Disqualifier
AutomaticSuspension of driver's license, reckless, or negligent driving within past 1 year.
Automatic2 or more traffic infractions or at fault accidents in a two year period will be carefully reviewed.
Drug Usage
AutomaticIllegal use of illegal drugs in the last 3 years.
AutomaticIllegal use of ANY controlled substance while employed in a criminal justice capacity.
AutomaticIllegal opiate use.
AutomaticHallucinogen use within past 7 years. No more than 1 uses total.
AutomaticOther drug use outside these standards will be considered on case by case basis.
AutomaticPattern of illegal use of prescription medication.
Criminal Activity
AutomaticAny adult felony conviction.
AutomaticAny misdemeanor, or felony conviction while employed in a criminal justice capacity.
AutomaticAdult misdemeanor convictions will be carefully reviewed.
AutomaticBeen convicted of any crime under a domestic violence statue.
AutomaticUnlawful sexual misconduct.
AutomaticAn applicant must have no prior conviction for or any general factual equivalent of such violations. That is, any deferred prosecution, stipulated continuance, or other equivalent for: A) Any felony whatsoever. B) Crime of domestic violence as defined by RCW 10.99.020. C) Crime classified as domestic violence in any other state, or tribal court. D) Any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
AutomaticWithdrawn from consideration for any (law enforcement/fire/corrections/dispatch) employment because of the following reasons: Falsified his or her application, personal history questionnaire, or any other forms during the hiring process. This includes omitting material information required.
AutomaticBeen dishonorably discharged from the United States armed forces.
AutomaticLied during any stage of the hiring process.
AutomaticFalsified his or her application, personal history questionnaire, or any other forms during hiring process. This includes omitting material information required.
AutomaticPrevious revocation or denial of (CJTC/POST) certified status, or suspension of current (CJTC/POST) certified status.
AutomaticFailure to pay income tax or child support.
AutomaticCurrent credit accounts, or unresolved accounts in collection will be carefully reviewed.

Current Hiring Status

The eligibility list is a continuous listing and maintained as scores are received from PST with oral board interviews conducted on an as-needed basis. Vacancies are filled by Civil Service "rule of three" with the top three candidates forwarded to the appointing authority for background investigation and selection as vacancies occur.

Number of Current Vacancies: 1

Salary Information

Starting salary $4,961 with annual step increases to $6,083.
Additional longevity increases at 10 years (2%), 15 years (3%), and 20 years (4%).
Educational incentive: 1.5% for  AA/AS and 3% additional for a BA/BS.
Salary based on an average of 2,050 hours worked per year.

Benefit Information

Benefit package includes medical and dental plans, vacation, sick leave, and retirement (State LEOFF II plan).

Also available is participation in VEBA (health reimbursement arrangement) in which employees can use the employer contributions to help pay eligible medical expenses.