Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office to offer training seminar titled "Surviving an Active Threat: A Civilian Response" - 01/17/17

With the growing number of terrorist and active killer events happening in our nation, Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson feels now more than ever is the time for the public to get educated on what to do should they ever experience this ever growing crisis. So we are offering this training for citizens to learn how to prepare themselves and their families should they ever come face to face with an active threat, whether it be in a school, a business, a grocery store or simply walking down the street. The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office would like to invite you to this one day training seminar geared towards the citizens of Cowlitz County. Topics will include:

Troubling trends in active killer events
Human crisis response
Mental/physical preparation
Methods of survival
Law enforcement/civilian crisis interaction
Practice Scenarios

This classroom based training will provide real world examples and responses to active threat events and give you an opportunity to experience different survival methods when faced with an active threat.

When: Saturday, Feb 18th 2017 from 10am-3pm

Where: Cowlitz County Expo Center

Registration: Forms can be picked up at the Sheriff's Office or on the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office website. Cost is $10 per person. Lunch is included. Registration is limited to the first 50 Cowlitz County residents.

For registration information contact:
Deputy Jordan Spencer at
or call 360-577-3092

Attached Media Files: active_killer_flyer_1.pdf
Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office and Kelso and Longview Police Departments to host Citizens' Police Academy. - 01/11/17

The Kelso & Longview Police Departments and Cowlitz County
Sheriff's Office are currently accepting applications for the annual Citizens' Police Academy. The goal of the Academy is to provide useful information to citizens about law enforcement within our community and establish better communications with the citizens we serve. Instruction will be provided on Patrol, SWAT, Drugs, Use of Force, Street Crimes, K-9 and much more. The Academy will offer tours of the Cowlitz County Jail, 911 dispatch center and students will be allowed to participate in a 3 hour police ride-a-long as well as a live fire range training.

Classes are held every Wednesday evening for 10 weeks (6-9pm) plus one Saturday in April. Classes start Feb 22nd and will end with graduation on April 26th. Anyone who lives or works in Cowlitz County may apply and must pass a background check. There is no cost to attendees.

Applications are available at the Kelso & Longview Police Departments and the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office. Applications are also available on each agencies' website.

Class space is limited to the first 30 eligible participants. Applications must be submitted no later than February 6th 2017 .

Cowlitz Sheriff's Office investigate death of inmate in the jail. No indications of foul play. - 12/29/16

Cowlitz County: The Cowlitz Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of an woman who was an inmate in the Cowlitz County Jail. The woman, Britney H. Smith, 26 of Longview was booked by the Longview Police on Tuesday the 27th for VUCSA (drug charges).

During a search at the booking process Cowlitz Correction officers found a small plastic bag on Ms Smith that contained what appeared to drugs. (toxicology pending). Due to this Ms. Smith was placed alone in a cell and she was put on a routine watch approximately every half hour.

At 6:00 a.m. today, Corrections Officers found Ms. Smith unresponsive. There was a plastic bag with what appeared to be drugs near her in the room. They began life saving measures (CPR and AED and Narcan and called for an ambulance). They were unable to revive Ms. Smith.

Ms. Smith family was notified of her death.

An autopsy was conducted this afternoon. There were no obvious indications of the cause and manner of death as a result, the Cowlitz Coroner is waiting for toxicology reports before the cause and manner will be determined.

The Sheriff's Office is not commenting on Ms. Smith's recent or past criminal history. (It is not relevant to our death investigation). We are not speculating on what type of drugs were found on her - toxicology reports are pending.

Cowlitz Sheriff to hold free Boater Safety Training - 12/27/16

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is asking the media to share this important notice to the public on boater safety training.

Need Your Boaters Card? The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office Marine Division, will begin hosting an Adventures in Boating certification course. Classes are open to any individual who needs to obtain a Washington State Boaters Education Card. The next available class will be held on Saturday, Jan 7th. The class will run from 8am-3:00pm at the Cowlitz County Search and Rescue Building, 1800 Western Lane in Kelso. Cost for the class is FREE. Register by January 5th 2017

To Register: Contact Deputy Jordan Spencer via email at . This one day class will certify you to operate a vessel in the state of Washington. Registrations fill up fast.

Reminder: All vessel operators age 59 and younger must have a Washington Boaters Education Card to operate a vessel in Washington State. For additional information and resources, check out Or contact Deputy Jordan Spencer at 360-577-3092.

Cowlitz SAR find man deceased after tow company finds note in car - 12/26/16

Cowlitz County - 12-26-16 - The Cowlitz Sheriff's Office received a call from "Always Available" Tow company reporting that they had found a note in a car they towed indicating the writer may have taken his own life and that authorities could find him in the woods. The car had been towed by WSP a few weeks ago from the southbound rest stop on I5 near MP 52.

Deputies responded to the area and after a brief search called in the volunteer Cowlitz Search and Rescue teams. This included 3 cadaver search dog teams and more than 15 volunteers. It was about 2 hours in to the search when one of the dogs gave an alert. Searchers then found the man a short distance nearby. He was over 100 yards in to the woods west of the rest stop on I-5.

While it appears the man took his own life, and there are no signs of foul play, the official cause and manner of death will be determined by the Coroner.

The ID of the man is pending notification of the family. It does not appear that he has any ties to the local community.