TITLE:     UNDERSHERIFF                                       Code:  377-12

DEPARTMENT:      Sheriff’s Office                                           REPORTS TO:  Sheriff



Under the direction of an elected Sheriff, the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of public safety laws within Yakima County.  Organizationally, the department consists of  an administrative unit and two major divisions: Civil and Criminal Operations.  Within this framework the Undersheriff plans, organizes, directs and coordinates the activities of the major divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.


Responsibilities include providing full operational supervision over all divisions in the Sheriff’s Office.

The Undersheriff directly supervises the Chief Criminal Deputy and Chief Criminal Deputy and through them, subordinate law enforcement officers, technical and office support staff; supervisory duties may include direct supervision over various staff members.



The Undersheriff class is characterized by responsibility for administrative oversight of all divisions within the Sheriff’s Office and by assumption of full command during the Sheriff’s absence.  The duties and responsibilities are carried out with a high level of independence and latitude of judgment and include planning, supervising and coordinating staff and activities; conferring with the Sheriff regarding departmental policies and procedures; and representing the Sheriff’s Office before groups and on various committees.  This class differs from the Chief Civil Deputy and Chief  Criminal Deputy classifications in that the Undersheriff assumes command in the absence of the Sheriff and is responsible for projects and activities having greater impact.


Plans, organizes, directs and coordinates through subordinate managers, the day-to-day operations of the major divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.

Develops, implements, interprets and enforces policies and procedures related to law enforcement services; reviews and makes recommendations related to legislation which would impact these services; prepares reports concerning management problems and other administrative functions.

Serves as a management representative in confidential management meetings in preparation for the collective bargaining process; serves on the management bargaining team for negotiations with the line deputies’ union, the Sheriff’s management bargaining unit and the Sheriff’s clerical union.

Plans for utilization of resources within the Sheriff’s Office; participates in the preparation, administration and management of the annual budget, including law and justice grants.

Coordinates Sheriff’s Office activities with other officers and federal, state and local law enforcement and corrections agencies in maintaining law and order.

Participates in the development and implementation of emergency response plans.

Plans and directs development and implementation of programs related to law enforcement activities  including the prevention and investigation of crimes, protection of life and property, care of prisoners in custody, communications and related activities.

Interviews, selects, trains and evaluates subordinate staff; disciplines staff when necessary.

Represents the Sheriff at public and civic meetings.

Represents the Sheriff’s Office to the Board of County Commissioners, community agencies and other

law enforcement agencies; serves on various law and justice committees.

Assumes command of the department in the absence of the Sheriff.


Performs other job related duties as required.


Work is primarily performed in an office environment, but also requires frequent off-site visits which may present exposure to inclement weather and hazardous conditions.

Requires speaking, hearing, seeing, sitting, standing, walking, running and lifting up to 50 pounds; use of hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or equipment; ability to reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, jump or crawl; and taste or smell.  Specific vision abilities include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.



Police vehicle, two-way radio, pager, first aid equipment, handguns, other weapons, handcuffs, and other law enforcement equipment as required; personal computer, copy machine, telephone.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Because of the sensitive nature of this position and its relationship to the elected Sheriff, the following assume paramount importance:  active loyalty and close working relationship to the Sheriff; strong oral and written communication skills; ability to establish and maintain effective interpersonal relationships at all organizational levels and with the public; leadership skills and a high degree of maturity, integrity and good judgment. 

In addition, the Undersheriff must possess: technical competence in the principles and practices of law enforcement administration; strong organizational and management skills; ability to analyze and identify administrative problems and implement operational changes; and ability to act decisively in emergency situations.

Experience and Training:

     Experience:  Ten (10) years of full-time paid public law enforcement experience including   three (3) years gained as a Lieutenant or above with Yakima County or   equivalent law enforcement agency.

     License:                        Possession of a valid Washington  State Driver's License.

     Certification:   Possession of a mid-manager certification from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission


In accordance with the Civil Service Rules and Regulations of the Yakima County Civil Service  Commission, this position is defined in Rule IV-Section 1-  Unclassified Service.             

The Undersheriff is appointed at the will of the Sheriff, and is considered a member of the Sheriff’s executive staff.

This class specification is subject to change in whole or in part, at any time and without prior notification, at the will of the Sheriff.  Any combination of experience and training acceptable to the Sheriff will be considered to meet the qualification standards.

Revised: 3/19/96