Law Enforcement Officer Position

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office - Deputy Sheriff



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 - Deputy Sheriff

Last updated on April 24, 2024
PST Partner Agency since October 19, 2011

Community Information

Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, and rich in history and natural beauty, Cowlitz County is home of the Monticello Convention of 1852, where the Washington Territory was born. With a balanced blend of rural and urban environments, most residents of Cowlitz County live about an hour from Mt. St. Helens, the Pacific Coast, and Portland OR, providing a unique quality of life. Long known as a world‐class center for manufacturing, predominantly in the forest products industry. For many years to come, the region will continue to combine natural resources, many transportation alternatives, and a community atmosphere to produce an economic environment.

Our community includes thriving export‐import activities, healthcare services, retail sales, senior living communities, a mix of public and private schools, a community college with four‐year degree extension programs, tourism, outdoor recreation, plus a wide variety of public, private and voluntary organizations.

Cowlitz County is home to approximately 108,950 residents, roughly 56 percent of whom live in the incorporated cities of Castle Rock, Kelso, Longview, Kalama, and Woodland. The remaining 44 percent live in rural, unincorporated communities such as Ryderwood, Toutle, Yale, Silver Lake, Lexington, Ariel and Cougar. These unincorporated areas of the County cover approximately 1,166 square miles, and are where the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office actively patrol and respond to calls for service.

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, Crime Reduction Team, Detectives, and Administrative Services.

In addition to Patrol, several full time and part time opportunities are available.  These positions include: K-9, SWAT, Detective, Drone Operator, Boat Operator, Civil, Search and Rescue and multiple instructor specialties (Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Vehicle Operations, Field Trainer, etc.).

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

County: Cowlitz
Population: 116,116
# of Staff: 70

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 five", with the top five candidates forwarded to the appointing authority for background investigation and selection as vacancies occur.

Lateral Applicants:  Please contact the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office directly.

Number of Current Vacancies: 0

Salary Information

Starting salary $6,599.00/mo. with annual step increases to $7,998.00/mo.

Additional longevity increases at 10 years (2%), 15 years (3%), and 20 years (4%).

Educational incentive: 1.75% for  AA/AS and 3.5% additional for a BA/BS.

Additional compensation available for certain specialty positions.

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.

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office - Deputy Sheriff Requirements

Category Requirement Required at time of...
    Test Hire
Written Examination Yes, required
LEO/CO Physical Ability Test (PAT) Yes, required

Your physical ability test must be completed 180 days (~6 months) before or after your passing written exam.

Minimum Age 21
Citizenship US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.
High School Grad/ GED Yes
Driver's License Required Yes
Felony Conviction(s) as an Adult Felony conviction is an automatic disqualifier.
Felony Conviction(s) as a Juvenile Felony conviction is an automatic disqualifier.
Ability to Read & Write the English Language Yes
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.
Basic Law Enforcement Academy Certification Newly hired deputies will attend basic law enforcement academy.
Multiple Scores from Same Applicant We only consider the most recent score

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office - Deputy Sheriff Disqualifiers

The following are automatic and potential disqualifiers. Applicants should not apply to our agency if they indicate any of the automatic disqualifiers. Potential disqualifiers will be considered on a case by case basis.

Category Disqualifier
Automatic Suspension of driver's license, reckless, or negligent driving within past 1 year.
Automatic 2 or more traffic infractions or at fault accidents in a two year period will be carefully reviewed.
Drug Usage
Automatic Illegal use of illegal drugs in the last 3 years.
Automatic Illegal use of ANY controlled substance while employed in a criminal justice capacity.
Automatic Illegal opiate use.
Automatic Hallucinogen use within past 7 years. No more than 1 uses total.
Automatic Other drug use outside these standards will be considered on case by case basis.
Automatic Pattern of illegal use of prescription medication.
Criminal Activity
Automatic Any adult felony conviction.
Automatic Any misdemeanor, or felony conviction while employed in a criminal justice capacity.
Automatic Adult misdemeanor convictions will be carefully reviewed.
Automatic Been convicted of any crime under a domestic violence statue.
Automatic Unlawful sexual misconduct.
Automatic An 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.
Automatic Withdrawn 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.
Automatic Been dishonorably discharged from the United States armed forces.
Automatic Lied during any stage of the hiring process.
Automatic Falsified his or her application, personal history questionnaire, or any other forms during hiring process. This includes omitting material information required.
Automatic Previous revocation or denial of (CJTC/POST) certified status, or suspension of current (CJTC/POST) certified status.
Automatic Failure to pay income tax or child support.
Automatic Current credit accounts, or unresolved accounts in collection will be carefully reviewed.

Contact Information

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office - Deputy Sheriff

312 SW 1st Avenue
Kelso, WA 98626 Cowlitz County


Agency Test Requirements
Written Examination: Yes, required
PAT: Yes, required