The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office was formed on January 14, 1861, by the Legislature of the Washington Territory. Since that time, Sheriffs and Deputies have served our community with pride and dedication. It is both fitting and proper that on this date each year, we should recall the honorable service of those before us and the committed work of those who serve now.
The History of the Sheriff dates back centuries, when the office of shire-reeve was instituted in England. It was used in the colonies, and followed the frontier west. Our first Sheriffs relied on the tried and tested method of deputizing citizens into a posse to hunt down wanted fugitives.
The first Sheriff of Snohomish County was Jacob Summers, who resigned within a few months of his appointment. Salem A. Woods replaced Summers on May 6, 1861. The next general election took place in July of 1863, at the height of the Civil War. Fred L. Dunbar was elected Sheriff, but never actually held the office. James Widdoes was appointed Sheriff on April 2, 1864, but declined the appointment as he was already serving as Coroner. The Board of Commissions then ordered the Coroner to fill the role of Sheriff until another one could be found.
In1865 Charles Seibert was elected Sheriff, followed by Benjamin Stretch in 1867. Sheriff Stretch was re-elected every two years for 10 years. In 1875, W.B. Stevens became the first full time Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff.
The Office mourned its first line of duty death when, on July 13, 1902, Deputy Charles Raymond was killed by a wanted murderer during a shootout in a wooded area near Bothell.
Even from our earliest history, Sheriffs and Deputies of Snohomish County have stood in the face of danger. We don’t surrender; there is no one else to turn to. We aggressively seek out those who would do harm, and eliminate them from our community. When we place the star on our chest, we accept a role in life. Notable events do not make us what we are – the willingness to participate in notable events does.
As the years have passed, increased population, new technology, and the evolution of law enforcement have all played a part in adding support and administrative staff to the Office. Their vital role and responsibilities make it possible for the Sheriff and his Deputies to carry out their duties.
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Main: 425-388-3393 or 1-800-562-4367, TTY