2023 – Chief Deputy Karlyn Degman


Chief Deputy Karlyn Degman served 30 years with the Washington County (OR) Sheriff’s Office. Her extensive career included a wide spectrum of experience holding the ranks of Deputy, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Jail Commander, Services Commander and Chief Deputy. During her nearly five years on the agency’s Executive Team her priorities included enhancing communication, improving staff support, and increasing transparency with the community, the Board of Commissioners and partnering agencies.

Karlyn was one of the first female Survival Skills instructors on the WCSO Training Unit and helped design the agency’s in-house pre-academies. During this time, she recognized the importance of female recruits and staff members having female mentors and instructors while in training.

Karlyn helped transition the WCSO jail from a linear-style facility to the first direct-supervision jail in the state, a move that revolutionized Corrections in Washington County and helped facilitate the advent of scenario-based use of force training, thus allowing deputies to experience more realistic training.

Karlyn became a member of the Survival Skills Council which had oversight and review of all force incidents. She helped to guide policy, procedures and training standards for the agency.

While responsible for oversight of the Recruitment Team and the Background Investigations Unit, Karlyn and her team redirected the agency’s culture by redesigning the hiring process to focus on character. At a time when recruitment was increasingly competitive and applications were declining, Karlyn and her team raised the bar on hiring standards and shortened the timeline of onboarding new recruits. Agency leaders and Human Resources subsequently deemed the process “the most defendable hiring program” seen to date.

Karlyn delivers Female Enforcers©, Women in Command© and Emotional Survival For the Female Enforcer© programs for Calibre Press.