Chief Brad Watkins was raised in Shelton and graduated from Shelton High School in 1981. He attended college until being hired in 1984 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 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 graduate of the FBI National Academy.
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 ten years. He is involved with numerous professional and charitable organizations, but focuses on Big Brothers Big Sisters and Special Olympics as the primary non-profit organizations he assists.
Chief Watkins is currently assigned to the Support Services Bureau, which oversees the Investigative Services Division, IT Division, Record Unit and the Services Division. In addition, Chief Watkins has oversight of the agency vehicle fleet and the Honor Guard Unit.
During his off-duty time Chief Watkins enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He relaxes by working in his yard, watching movies, and vacationing.