Chief Brad Watkins was raised in Shelton and graduated from Shelton High School. In 1984 he began his law enforcement career when he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff for the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, graduating from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in January 1986. In April 1987 he began working for the Centralia Police Department as a Patrol Officer, then became their first D.A.R.E. Officer, and had his first experiences as a relief supervisor.
In April 1989 Chief Watkins began his career with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) when he was hired as a Patrol Deputy. Since that time he has worked in a variety of assignments and held every rank within the agency, except Sheriff. Chief Watkins currently has over 30 years of law enforcement experience and is a 2011 graduate of the FBI National Academy Class #245.
Chief Watkins has also been involved with several specialty units within this office to include Defensive Tactics Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Field Training Officer, Field Training Coordinator, Explorer Program Advisor, and was the primary Crisis Negotiator for the agency for over fifteen years. He is involved with numerous professional and charitable organizations, but focuses on Junior League of Olympia, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Special Olympics as the primary non-profit organizations he assists.
Chief Watkins is currently assigned to the Field Operations Bureau, which oversees the Patrol Division, SWAT Team, Dive Rescue Team, Civil Event Response Team, Hostage Negotiation Team, Animal Cruelty Team, Marine Services Unit, K-9 Unit, Reserve Deputy Unit, Community Service Unit, and Explorer Program.
During his off-duty time Chief Watkins enjoys spending time with family and friends. He relaxes by traveling around our state to see local sights, watching movies, and vacationing in warm and fun places.