Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office
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Cowlitz County Reserve Academy Graduation (Photo) - 07/03/19

On June 29th, 2019 the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office held a graduation ceremony at the Cowlitz Regional Event Center to commemorate the completion of the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Reserve Academy. The Sheriff’s Office hosted the Academy which was attended by prospective reserve officers from the Cowlitz, Clark, Lewis, and Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Offices and the Castle Rock Police Department. The Academy is a 6-month, 280-hour course of study that includes patrol procedures, criminal law, criminal investigation, defensive tactics, firearms, crisis intervention, de-escaltion, mock scenes, and emergency vehicle operation. The students passed a State mandated written test to successfully complete the course. They will continue their training with their respective agencies. The graduates  and awards are as follows:

 

Castle Rock Police Officer Tiffany Williamson – Class President and best firearms

Clark County Deputy Sheriff Amanda Nohrenberg – Best academic and best overall

Cowlitz County Deputy Sheriff Christopher Gove

Lewis County Deputy Sheriff Brandon Vossen – Best patrol partner

Lewis County Deputy Sheriff Aron Radach

Wahkiakum County Deputy Sheriff Cristopher Gartski

Wahkiakum County Deputy Sheriff Spencer Moores

 

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the above listed agencies for their participation in the training along with the Longview Police Department, the Washington State Patrol, and the Prosecutor’s Offices of Cowlitz and Clark Counties.

Overhead view
Overhead view
Cowlitz County Sheriff's Deputies Arrest Suspect After Attempted Carjacking, Pursuit (Photo) - 07/01/19

On June 30, 2019 Ridgefield Police responded to an incident where a suspect had reportedly tried to steal an occupied vehicle.  The reporting party told police the suspect put him in a headlock and stole his keys, but was unable to start the vehicle.  Ridgefield Police attempted to arrest the suspect, but the suspect escaped after a foot pursuit.  The suspect fled in a silver Ford F150 truck which was reported stolen out of St Helens, Oregon.

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office Deputy Spaulding observed the truck traveling Northbound on I-5 near exit 27 and attempted to stop the it.  The suspect fled at speeds over 100 MPH and used all three lanes to evade police.  The suspect was able to avoid spike strips and intentionally swerved at a deputy who was outside of his vehicle attempting to deploy the spike strips.  

The suspect vehicle took exit 39 and collided with a vehicle that was stopped for a red light, causing reportable damage.  The occupant was not injured.  The suspect continued to evade deputies and took the Lewis and Clark bridge into Oregon, then continued Westbound on Highway 30.  The suspect drove at high speeds on Highway 30 and forced Eastbound vehicles out of their lane.

As the suspect continued into Clatskanie, he collided with a CCSO patrol vehicle and was then pinned in by multiple patrol vehicles to end the pursuit.  The suspect attempt to flee the vehicle and resisted arrest.  Deputies deployed a taser and the CCSO K-9 to take the suspect into custody.  One CCSO deputy was cut by broken glass during the altercation, requiring sutures.

The suspect was identified as Gergorio Ivan Layna, age 35, of Kelso.  Layna was taken into custody by Oregon State Police on charges related to the pursuit in Oregon.  Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office will be filing additional charges for Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer, Possession of Stolen Vehicle, Assault 2nd Degree, Hit and Run - Attended Vehicle and Resisting Arrest.  Ridgefield Police has probable cause for additional charges for the attempted carjacking incident.

Update: Attached is an overhead view captured by Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office Drone Pilot Deputy Craig Murray, showing how deputies were able to pin the suspect vehicle and stop the pursuit.

Attached Media Files: Overhead view
Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office to Host Additional Firearms Safety Classes - 06/30/19

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting free firearms safety training classes for Cowlitz County residents on July 11, 2019 and July 24, 2019. Due to the passage of Initiative 1639, a certificate of firearms safety training will be required to purchase semiautomatic rifles after July 1, 2019. Certificates will be issued upon completion of the class, which takes approximately one hour.

Per Cowlitz County Sheriff Brad Thurman, "It is our intent in offering this class to assist citizens in exercising their rights that are otherwise infringed by I-1639. We also hope that our local gun dealers will be able to continue to engage in their livelihoods and exercise their right to sell, buy, and trade guns with citizens, sportsmen, and patriots. Firearms are a vital part of our heritage and commerce and we strive to preserve the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms."

These classes will be held at the Rizad Building, located at 1800 Western Ln, Kelso.  There will be three classes on July 11th (6:00, 7:00 and 8:00 PM) and two classes on July 24th (6:30 and 7:30 PM). To register for a firearms safety training class, please contact Deputy Justin Taylor at 360-577-3092 or j@co.cowlitz.wa.us">taylorj@co.cowlitz.wa.us. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

Additional information about Initiative 1639 can be found at:https://www.atg.wa.gov/initiative-1639