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Spokane County Sheriff

The county sheriff has a number of duties relating to: (1) law enforcement and public safety, (2) jails and confinement facilities, and (3) civil functions for the court system.

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  • Candidate picture

    Wade Nelson
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    John Nowels
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this position?

How has your experience prepared you for this position?

What are the three major issues facing the Sheriff's office today?

How would you address the issue you consider the most urgent?

How do you plan to communicate with the citizens of your county?

How will you ensure equal enforcement of laws?

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Party Preference Republican
Phone 5099548869
Experience (Max 500 characters) 24 years with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, serving in numerous ranks and capacities: Patrol Deputy, Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander of the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force, and currently Undersheriff, Law Enforcement Fellow U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Education: B.A. in Criminal Justice from EWU, M.A. in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma, and graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session 265.
Campaign Mailing Address PO Box 248
Newman Lake, WA 99025
Campaign Phone 5099548869
Town where you live Spokane, Washington
As a lifelong resident of Spokane County I share the values with the citizens that make Spokane great. Working at the Sheriff's Office for more than 20 years, I was able to serve my community and keep it safe. With Sheriff Knezovich retiring, I know I have the combination of character and proven leadership ability to keep our communities great places to raise a family, work, go to school, and recreate. I am the candidate who specifically took on more leadership roles within the Sheriff's Office and the entire community and furthered my education to prepare myself for this leadership opportunity. My dedication to Spokane drove me to prepare myself for this elected position.
As I stated earlier, I have served in every rank and held leadership positions in every operational division of the Sheriff's Office. I serve on many community boards and served in positions with the U.S> Department of justice, COPS Office and graduated from the FBI National Academy session 265. I have also been involved in the local republican party as a PCO for many years. All this experience provides me with a broad expertise in police operations, but also provides me with a unique understanding of our communities' needs and the Sheriff's responsibility for them. My work and experience also allowed me to build relationships with elected officials and other governmental leaders on both sides of the political aisle, working on issues Spokane County faces. These relationships will make me a very effective Sheriff.
The most pressing issue facing the Sheriff's Office today is legislation hampering our ability to provide effective public safety. No matter what issues we face outside of this, if we can't provide effective police services because the law won't allow it, the other issues are somewhat immaterial.

The second major issue the Sheriff's Office faces is attracting qualified candidates to the Sheriff's Office, and law enforcement in general.

The third issue we face is having effective, research based training for our new hires. We are hiring candidates at a record pace, but we cannot currently get them in to training that is provided by the State for months after hire. We also know the training currently provided is not research based and needs significant re-tooling. Those in charge of the training at the state level are not necessarily given the resources they currently need to provide this curriculum.
Law enforcement leaders from around the state must insist that State Legislators work with them in a meaningful way to ensure that legislation aimed at improving law enforcement services does not hinder our ability to keep communities safe. That is why relationship building is critical. I have endorsements and relationships on both sides of the political aisle., allowing me to utilize my expertise to advise legislators on what will work to keep our communities safe. I will also work with legislators to help get a meaningful controlled substance law back on the books in Washington so we can reduce violent crime and clean up our neighborhoods.
I will increase our media presence from where it is today in the on-line realm. I will also use our resources to tell the stories of the amazing work the men and women of the Sheriff's Office do every day. I will continue showing up at community events as the Sheriff to listen to citizens and see what their needs are. I will also ensure all employees of the Sheriff's Office utilize Community Oriented Policing Strategies into their daily activities. Effective law enforcement is all about trust and relationships. We will focus on building both with our community.
Effective monitoring and supervision is the key. Ensuring deputies and all supervisors understand the importance of this principle and how to spot bias is key.

Taking every complaint seriously, as we always have, is the key to maintaining trust in our communities. Anyone displaying bias in their roles in law enforcement will be addressed appropriately for the situation.

Having a strong relationship with the Prosecuting Attorney will also ensure equal enforcement of the law.