8 Sheriff Career Interviews

Criminal Justice Degree Schools interviewed 8 Northwest Sheriffs to learn their advice for aspiring police officers and their observations of the changing landscape of the law enforcement profession. They also share their thoughts about the importance of a criminal justice degree in having a successful career in law enforcement.

1. Sheriff Gary Raney of Ada County in Idaho

2. Sheriff Glenn Palmer of Rural Grant County in Oregon

3. Sheriff Steve Boyer of Kitsap County in Washington

4. Sheriff Rick Grimstead of Skagit County in Washington

5. Sheriff Bill Elfo of Whatcom County in Washington

6. Sheriff Dave Brown of Skamania County in Washington

7. Sheriff Frank Rogers of Okanogan County in Washington

8. Sheriff Mark Nelson of Cowlitz County in Washington


Some top quotes related to advice for individuals seeking to become a police officer and the importance of higher education in the law enforcement field include:

The B.A. in Criminal Justice provides a baseline that I think helps anyone going into law enforcement develop the much-needed critical thinking skills. Today, a degree is pretty much required if you want to move into supervision and management. -Sheriff Gary Raney

I need dependable people who can do a good, reliable job. In getting an advanced degree, I know the requisite skills are covered well. -Sheriff Glenn Palmer

We are looking for individual’s possessing solid character and we will develop them. But if they fail on character, this is a situation where someone will lose his or her job. We take this very seriously. -Sheriff Steve Boyer

I value the degree overall. You do gain maturity and socialization with a 2 or 4-year degree and those benefits and ties last a lifetime. Specifically, a criminal justice degree helps early in the career with nuts and bolts when you are on the street. -Sheriff Rick Grimstead

Law enforcement and corrections officers face increasingly complex issues that require innovative solutions. A college degree arms officers with a broad perspective on a range of issues and helps them develop the critical thinking and analysis skills that are necessary to achieve success. -Sheriff Bill Elfo

Go to college. Get an education. Understand the law, the profession and our constitution so you understand your responsibility to the people and the trust you are granted – and to stay true to it. -Sheriff Dave Brown

In my opinion it’s the greatest job in the world. We all get into law enforcement because we truly do want to help people, and that in itself is probably the greatest reward. -Sheriff Frank Rogers

You don’t pursue this job for the money. You do it because you care about people and want to serve. If you come in for other reasons, you will be disappointed and may burn out. -Sheriff Mark Nelson

Criminal Justice Degree Schools is a resource site providing information on criminal justice degrees and schools. We cover various criminal justice careers including police officers, paralegals, and crime scene investigators.