Yakima County Human Resources

  • 610-XXX Investigator - Public Services- Building & Fire Safety

    Working Title
    Code Enforcement Officer
    Regular Full Time Budgeted
    FLSA Status
    Public Services-Building & Fire Safety
    40 Hours Per Week
    Required Testing/Exercises
    Open Date
    Close Date
    $25.64 per hour
  • Overview

    There is one position with Yakima County Public Services, Building and Fire Safety Division.  Position is responsible for performing scene investigations for nuisance and dangerous conditions and to recognize probable criminal activity. Inspects and enforces codes regulating building, zoning, and abatement of nuisances and dangerous buildings. 

    This recruitment may be used to fill future openings which may occur within 90 days of the posted closing date.



    Prepares and reviews technical and investigative reports and documents such as notice of code violations and stop work orders, abatement incidents, citations and warrants. Develops information for use by the department, the Sheriff’s Office and the Prosecutor’s Office in case preparation. Studies and researches building and abatement codes and writes interpretations and recommendations. Evaluates laws and regulations for applicable safety standards. Provides testimony in court proceedings as required.


    Investigates and responds to questions, concerns, and complaints of property owners and the public regarding building, zoning and abatement hazards. Explains code applicability to the public in person and over the phone. Negotiates with property owners to abate hazards to meet the intent of the code. Interviews suspects, witnesses and victims in regard to abatement actions. Provides testimony in hearings of nuisance decisions that are appealed.


    Examines construction plans and details on projects, structures and properties to ensure proper materials, equipment and installation. Confirms accuracy of compliance and completeness to adopted codes and standards.


    Researches technical engineering data to evaluate acceptability of products and equipment; determines applicability of comparable materials; appraises conformance with performance based codes.


    Coordinates with property owners, complainants, and law enforcement; reviews incoming request for investigation and prioritizes response based on nature of incident; coordinates inspections of new and existing facilities; organizes materials and equipment needed; inspects new and existing commercial, industrial, educational and other occupancies for compliance with building, zoning, and abatement codes and standards, plans and specifications.


    Coordinates inspection and investigation activities with contractors, law enforcement, and other governmental agencies. Provides input for relevant building, zoning, and abatement codes and advises property owners about methods in order to satisfy the codes.


    Other duties as assigned such as presenting staff reports at appeals.


    Education and Experience: Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management, Criminal Justice or a related field plus one year of related experience related to safety and health management, investigation and inspection, building or construction management and techniques, or law enforcement OR an equivalent combination of education and experience which provides knowledge, skills and abilities sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job.


    • Valid Washington State driver’s license at time appointment;
    • Microsoft Office Professional or equivalent, (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) Windows:
    • ICC Building Inspector Certification within 1 year of hire date and preferred at time of hire

    Preferred: Acela, Tidemark and/or Spillman experience.

    Equipment Used: County vehicle for travel in making investigations, camera for recording visual data, cell phone for making contacts with county personnel, contractors and violators, computer, laptop and desktop, for keeping records in the county permit management database (Acela IPMS) and searching in the state law enforcement database (Spillman) for possible stolen vehicles or convicted felons that may be associated with any violation and typical hand tools like calculator, tape measure for measuring square footage of illegal structures.

    Working Conditions / Physical Requirements: In some cases property violators are also involved in criminal activities and constitute an element of danger that isn’t present with typical building inspection work. The Code Enforcement Officer works closely with various law enforcement agencies such as YSO, WSP, ATF, DEA and even Secret Service when the properties have drug labs or other illegal activities located on them. Some of the illegal activities, such as methamphetamine labs, are associated with hazardous materials. The Officer needs to be aware of the dangers and the precautions to take.

    Requires use of personal protective equipment (PPE), work in potentially hazardous conditions and in inclement weather, potentially at all times of day or night. Requires driving, walking, stooping, kneeling, crouching, standing, mobility, fingering, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, seeing and repetitive motions. Rated as High Risk: Exerting up to 100 pounds of force occasionally and/or up to 50 pounds of force frequently and/or up to 20 pounds of force constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body.


    • Investigation practices and methods employed in code enforcement;
    • Techniques of reviewing and applying codes, ordinances and other regulations to the development of a case;
    • Dangerous building code and abatement processes;
    • Local government organizations and functions
    • Practices and methods used in dangerous building and scene investigation;
    • Rules and methods of collecting evidence;
    • Public hearing processes, governmental regulation and resolutions process;
    • Customer service and communication techniques; and
    • Techniques of photography, technical writing and case documentation.
    • Building construction, dangerous buildings or conditions;



    • Using personal computers and related software applications, measuring devises, and other investigative tools; and operating basic office equipment;
    • Performing professional investigations including collecting, compiling, organizing and evaluating information in the preparation of a case;
    • Managing time and prioritizing case work;
    • Locating and diagnosing existing and potentially hazardous conditions;
    • Reading and interpreting blue prints, maps, plats and charts;
    • Preparing and presenting oral and written reports and writing correspondence;
    • Maintaining records;
    • Interpreting codes and ordinances;
    • Maintaining composure in difficult situations;
    • Communicating with the public to explain complex laws and ordinances in a manner that is understood by both the violator and the complainant; and
    • Establishing and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships with County and other officials, at all organizational levels and with the public.


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