From information provided in the Union-Bulletin and at the election forums there appears to be some misunderstanding about how deputy sheriffs are hired in Walla Walla County.
All counties except King County are required to use a county Civil Service Commission to evaluate applicants for all paid positions within the Sheriff’s Office, except for the statutorily allowed appointed positions.
In Walla Walla County, applicants for deputy sheriff and corrections deputy take a written and physical test administered by Public Safety Testing, a company that specializes in testing for public safety positions. The physical test is pass/fail and the written test is scored much in the same manner as a high school or college examination.
All other positions are directly tested locally by the Civil Service Commission.
The Civil Service Commission, for all positions, next administers an oral examination using a panel from the sheriff’s department and a member of the Civil Service Commission (usually the chief examiner). The written and oral test scores are combined, with greater weight given to the oral test score.
The three applicants with the highest combined scores are listed in alphabetical order and provided to the sheriff to select one new deputy sheriff.
The sheriff may select only from the list of three or decline to select anyone. (If there is more than one vacancy, the size of the list is expanded and more than one selection may be made from the expanded list.)
The three Civil Service commissioners are volunteers selected by the county commissioners. The chief examiner is a county employee selected by the Civil Service commissioners. This position is an unfunded state mandate. None of the Civil Service Commission personnel work in any capacity for the Sheriff’s Office.
The regular meetings of the Walla Walla County Civil Service Commission are held the second Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. in the training room adjacent to where the Walla Walla County commissioners meet in the Courthouse. The public is welcome.
Walla Walla County
Civil Service Commission