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Sheriff Bill Elfo - Biography

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Welcome and Message

Sheriff ElfoOn behalf of the dedicated men and women of the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office, welcome! Our website will help introduce you to who we are and what we do. Founded in 1854, your Sheriff's Office is one of Washington's oldest and most respected law enforcement organizations.  Responsible for law enforcement, corrections and emergency management, we serve a growing community of over 193,000 residents and are responsible for a land area encompassing 2150 square miles on the international border.

With a vision of making Whatcom County the safest in the state through excellence in public safety, your Sheriff’s Office serves all the people who visit and reside in our community.  The Office of Sheriff in Whatcom County is a non-partisan position that is elected by the people.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office is challenged with an increasing demand for services at a time when economic circumstances have resulted resource reductions.  Your Sheriff's Office has established a long history of working in partnership with the community and other agencies to build strengths and confront challenges. We will continue those partnerships as we move forward to focus on our core mission of protecting our community by providing effective, efficient and professional services with unquestionable integrity.


Bill Elfo, Sheriff

Sheriff Bill Elfo - Biography

Sheriff Bill Elfo is proud to lead the dedicated men and women that serve with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. Following 23 years of increasingly responsible law enforcement experience that included service as a chief of police and prosecutor, he was elected to the Office of Sheriff in 2003 and 2007. 

Sheriff Elfo holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate. He graduated from a number of nationally recognized law enforcement and corrections training programs that include the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute Administrative Officer’s Course, the FBI National Law Institute, the FBI Command College and the United States Department of Justice’s National Sheriff’s Institute. He has successfully completed thousands of hours of public management, legal and law enforcement training. He has served as a police academy instructor and an Adjunct Professor of criminal justice and legal studies at several colleges and universities.

Sheriff Elfo serves on the executive board of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, is the past president of the Washington State Sheriff’s Association, the past chair of the Whatcom County Police Chiefs and Sheriff Association, a life member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a member of the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Washington Association of County Officials.  A member of the Washington State Bar, he is licensed to practice law in Washington and several other jurisdictions.

Working to improve the criminal justice, homeland security and mental health systems, Sheriff Elfo has testified before the Congress of the United States and the Washington State Legislature. Sheriff Elfo holds an appointment from Governor Christine Gregoire as a commissioner for the Criminal Justice Training Commission and is a member of the Governor’s Organized Crime Advisory Board. He was appointed by Attorney General Rob Mckenna to serve as Chair of the Criminal Law and Sentencing Committee of the Attorney General’s Methamphetamine Task Force.

Sheriff Elfo is active in the community and serves on the Bellingham-Whatcom County Commission Against Domestic Violence, the Whatcom County Law and Justice Council, the Whatcom County Chemical Dependency/Mental Health Fund Oversight Advisory Committee, the Americans With Disabilities Advisory Committee, the Whatcom Community College Law and Justice Advisory Committee and the Corporate Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County.

Sheriff Elfo is the recipient of numerous awards that include the Boys and Girls Club’s National Service to Youth Award, the American Legion Man of the Year Award, the Whatcom County Association of Realtors Citizen of the Year award, the Bellingham-Whatcom Humane Society’s Woof and Whiskers Award, the  Alzheimer Society of Washington’s Ken King Community Service Award and the Washington State Military Department/Federal Bureau of Investigation joint award for service to the 2010 Olympic Security Committee.