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Cowlitz County Traffic Safety Task Force

Samantha (Sam) Thompson

Target Zero Manager

Office: 360.577.3092
Fax: 360.423.1047

Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office 312 SW 1st Avenue Kelso, WA 98626


The Cowlitz County Traffic Safety Task Force is a collaborative effort among the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, Longview, Kelso, Castle Rock, and Woodland Police Departments, and the Cowlitz County Communications Center. The Task Force works with local organizations, volunteers, public employees, and schools to ensure safer roads for our county, educate the public about major traffic issues, and create a safer driving environment for everyone.

Projects and Programs

Every 15 Minutes – Each school year, the Cowlitz County Traffic Safety Task Force coordinates the Every 15 Minutes program for seniors at Cowlitz County high schools. This effective program shows students, using real-life examples, the dangers of drinking and driving. It has been presented in the county successfully for over 10 years. It has reached over 3000 students and parents, and since it has been part of the school year, not a singe student that participated in the program has been involved in an alcohol-related traffic collision. This program is funded 100% through community giving—not through law enforcement monies.  For more information on this important program, please visit, or contact your Target Zero Manager. Child Occupant Safety – One of the largest portions of traffic safety in Cowlitz County is child safety when riding in vehicles. A dedicated team of certified car seat technicians, made up of employees from law enforcement, fire protection, medical offices, and school districts holds car seat clinics on a regular basis, where parents and caregivers can get their child’s car seat checked for free. In between the clinics, several technicians also do car seat checks by appointment. There is also a discount car seat purchase program available for needy families who qualify. For a car seat check appointment, please contact: Brandi Ballinger Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue 701 Vine St. Kelso WA 98626 360.575.6280. For more information, go to Safe Kids of Lower Columbia at Traffic Patrols– Cowlitz County law enforcement take great pride in the work they do, day in and day out. In addition to their normal working shifts, they take part in several federally– and state-mandated patrols. Some are listed below:

  • Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (DUI)
  • X52 Sustained Enforcement (DUI and speeding)
  • Night of 1000 Stars (DUI, speed, aggressive, dangerous drivers, etc.)
  • Click It or Ticket: Daytime and Nighttime (seat belt use)