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 29 years of increasingly responsible law enforcement experience that included service as a chief of police, city attorney 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, the Corporate Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County and the Board of Directors of the Brigid Collins Family Service Center.

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.

Bill and his wife Zulma, a former law enforcement officer and Spanish interpreter, live in Ferndale and have four sons and two grandchildren.  One son works in the banking industry in Seattle and the others attend Lynden Christian High School, Whatcom Community College and Harvard University.

Professional Appointments and Commission Service:

  • Chair of the Criminal Law and Sentencing Committee of the Attorney General’s Methamphetamine Task Force.  Appointed by Attorney General Rob McKenna to serve on Task Force and chair committee.
    See Link http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=4140
  • Executive Board, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.  Elected to Executive Board by fellow police chief, sheriffs and heads of federal law enforcement agencies.
    See Link: http://www.waspc.org
  • Former President, Vice President and Executive Board Member of Washington State Sheriffs’ Association.  Elected to office by fellow Washington Sheriffs.
    See Link http://www.washeriffs.org
  • Board Member, Governor’s Organized Crime Advisory Board, 
    Appointed to Board by Governor Christine Gregoire.
  • Former Chair of the Whatcom County Police Chiefs and Sheriff Association.  
    Elected to office by fellow police chiefs.
  • Commission Member, Bellingham-Whatcom Commission Against Domestic Violence.
    See Link: www.dvcommission.org
  • Commission Member, Whatcom County Law and Justice Council
    See Link: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/boards/lawjustice
  • Commission Member, Whatcom County Behavioral Health Advisory Board