205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
Monday - Friday
8 AM - 5 PM
Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
Kittitas County, WA -
Today, August 31, Kittitas County Sheriff’s Corporal James Woody is retiring after twenty-one years of full-time service to our community.
James started as a Kittitas County Reserve Deputy in 1997 and joined patrol full-time after three years. He was promoted to the vital supervisory role of Corporal in 2009. During his Law Enforcement career, James served in a multitude of specialty roles and assignments. He worked as a Forest Service Deputy and as a Search and Rescue coordinator; he was a firearms instructor, tactical team member, and sniper; he participated in our swift-water and ice-rescue teams and was a boat operator on our marine patrol; and most recently, he helped our office keep pace with changing laws and training as a patrol tactics instructor.
Alongside his many roles and assignments, James always remained a working deputy, willing to handle any call. On August 27, 2019, Corporal Woody supervised KCSO’s response to a request for assistance from a Mental Health Professional trying to help a man in crisis near Ellensburg. The man refused the counselor’s help and locked himself inside his trailer. Investigators learned he’d made threats and attempted assaults against his family and represented a danger to himself and others. After hours of attempts at de-escalation and persuasion, Corporal Woody took the lead role as a team of deputies prepared to arrest the man to protect both him and others. When James opened the trailer door, the man instantly shot him with a compound hunting bow and broadhead arrow.
The arrow glanced off James’ shoulder, cutting to the bone, and knocked him to the ground. James was transported to KVH where he underwent surgery and began weeks of recovery. We’re grateful every day that the broadhead, designed to kill, didn’t work that day. The man who shot Corporal Woody was safely arrested and subsequently convicted for assault with a deadly weapon. James returned to his full range of duties at the Sheriff’s Office and was recently awarded the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office Purple Heart for injury in the line of duty. His performance before, during and after this incident make him a model of courage in service for our office and our community.
Corporal Woody has always said he wants to be a part of solution, not the problem. He’s worked tirelessly to find fixes for the problems he’s encountered, and he’s made Kittitas County a safer and better place for more than two decades. We are honored to have worked with him and hope the whole county will congratulate him on a job faithfully and bravely done.
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.