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Ozzie Knezovich

A candidate for Sheriff, Spokane County in the 2010 Washington General Election

Party: Republican

Age: 53

City: Western Spokane County, Wash.

Occupation: Spokane County sheriff

OZZIE KNEZOVICH

Education: Graduated from Rock Springs High School in Wyoming. Graduated from Weber State College with an integrated studies bachelor’s degree in 1985.

Work experience: Became town marshal in Superior, Wyoming in 1990. Joined Rock Springs, Wyoming police force in 1991. Joined Olympia Police Department in 1995. Joined Spokane County Sheriff’s Office as deputy in 1996. Became sergeant in 2004. Appointed Spokane County sheriff by county commissioners in 2006 and won election to the post in November of that year. Re-elected while unopposed in 2010.

Political experience: Former president of the Spokane County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Former president of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. Named to the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association in 2008. Served as president of that group in 2012.

Military: U.S. Army airborne medical specialist and combat medic, served in Korea, 1987-90.

Family: Married, three grown children.


Election results

CandidateVotesPct
Ozzie Knezovich (R) 126,863 100%

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Sheriff critical; S-R stands behind story

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich confirmed Wednesday for the second time in two days that chemicals were mixed with shrapnel in a bomb that was placed along the Unity March route in downtown Spokane on Jan. 17. The sheriff has criticized a front-page story published in the Wednesday edition of The Spokesman-Review, but stopped short of seeking a correction.


Sheriff’s detective cleared of using excessive force

A jury Wednesday exonerated a Spokane County sheriff’s detective who has been the subject of several excessive force complaints. The jury found unanimously for Spokane County in a case that began with a traffic stop on Jan. 22, 2006, by Jeff Welton, who was a deputy at the time.


King Day bomb had chemical component

A bomb maker mixed chemicals with shrapnel in what law enforcement officials say was a weapon designed to inflict maximum injuries during last week’s Martin Luther King Jr. march in downtown Spokane. Tests are being conducted to determine the type of chemical and whether it made the bomb potentially more deadly, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Tuesday.


MLK bomb laced with chemical, sources say

A bomb maker mixed chemicals with shrapnel in what law enforcement officials say was a weapon designed to inflict maximum injuries during last week’s Martin Luther King Jr. march in downtown Spokane.


Leaders, residents discuss violence in the community

The Spokane-area community gathered Saturday morning to discuss the attempted bombing along the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March on Jan. 17. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and state Rep. Kevin Parker co-hosted the forum, “Understanding Threats in Our Community,” on the Washington State University Spokane campus. Community leaders and residents discussed their concerns about, and possible solutions to, violence in the community.


Verner: ‘This is not who we are’

The Spokane-area community joined this morning to discuss the attempted bombing along the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March on Monday.


Town hall Saturday to discuss bomb, violence

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and state Rep. Kevin Parker will hold a town hall meeting Saturday to discuss public concerns over the bomb found along the parade route in downtown Spokane Monday. The one-hour forum, “Understanding threats in our community”, will allow area residents to discuss…


Civil trial over use of Taser begins

A Spokane County sheriff’s detective who has been the subject of a number of use-of-force complaints appeared in court Tuesday, the first day in a civil trial brought by a man who claimed that he was unnecessarily shocked by a Taser during a traffic stop. Daniel B. Strange, 41, filed a $1.5 million excessive force lawsuit against Spokane County in 2006 after a traffic stop on Jan. 22 of that year in which Deputy Jeff Welton shot Strange with a Taser during a traffic stop in Spokane Valley.


County considers using reserves to save public safety jobs

Spokane County commissioners may dip into reserves to save jobs and offset some of the most painful cuts in their 2011 general fund budget. Commissioners Mark Richard and Bonnie Mager called for preserving safety-related programs by reducing reserves from 10 percent of the $136.8 million general fund to perhaps 8 percent.


Life-savers honored at annual ceremony

Two Spokane County sheriff’s employees have been honored for saving the life of a suicidal man after he was shot by officers. Deputy Walter Loucks and Sgt. Dale Golman rushed to Michael E. Young after he was shot Dec. 27 and kept him breathing while medics arrived.


Officers making life or death decisions in an instant

Facing the muzzle of a gun, a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy said he had one immediate thought: death. Ryan Walter squeezed off eight rounds at the gunman, Donald J. Lafavor. His partner, Deputy Rustin Olson, fired three.


County settles with robbery victim

Spokane County will pay $60,000 to a 79-year-old robbery victim who says he was seriously injured when sheriff’s deputies manhandled him after he called them for help. Several deputies reported the home-invasion robbery victim, Terrance McDonald, shouted profanities at them and refused numerous orders to cooperate in the July 2006 incident.


Creach family hires forensic expert

The family of Pastor Wayne Scott Creach said Friday that a key piece of evidence in his death has been compromised – the squad car driven by the Spokane County sheriff’s deputy who shot him.


Jail inmate claims he was tortured

A Spokane County Jail inmate claims in a federal lawsuit that he was beaten without warning by a cell extraction team and later tortured with blows to his genitals. One problem: As Nicolas Garcia’s recent lawsuit notes, the Sept. 21, 2009, incident was filmed by a Discovery Channel television crew.


Prosecuter receives Creach autopsy

The autopsy report of pastor Wayne Scott Creach has been turned over to Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker, but it does little to answer many of the family’s questions. Creach’s son, Alan Creach, said the autopsy revealed no indication of a baton strike that Deputy Brian Hirzel claims he made during the Aug. 25 encounter in which Hirzel shot Creach in the parking lot of his business at 14208 E. Fourth Ave.


Police shooting scene examined again

A Spokane man shot by sheriff’s deputies two weeks ago pleaded not guilty to a single assault charge this week as investigators examined his medical records and searched the shooting scene for the second time. Sean P. Houlihan, 37, is charged with first-degree assault after a friend said he fired a gun at him on Sept. 16 during an argument in the basement of Houlihan’s home at 909 E. Brentwood Drive.


Richard, Knezovich spar over budgeting

A 2  ½-hour Sheriff’s Office budget meeting Tuesday produced more heat than light. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and County Commission Chairman Mark Richard each accused the other of “insulting” comments.


Sheriff: Deputies haven’t changed their stories

Two deputies involved in a shooting last month near Wandermere have not changed their stories about what happened that night, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said. A search warrant stating that interviews with Deputies David Westlake and Thad Schultz indicate it’s possible Sean P. Houlihan didn’t initiate the gunfire Sept. 18 was misinterpreted, Knezovich said in an interview this week.


Sheriff drops the wait in shooting probes

Investigators probing officer-involved shootings will no longer be required to wait at least 72 hours before interviewing Spokane County Sheriff’s Office employees. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich announced the change Thursday, ending a departmental practice common at many law enforcement agencies but seen as contradictory and confusing outside of police circles.


Trooper says shooting was unintentional

A Washington State Patrol sergeant who shot an unarmed pregnant woman during a drug raid last week has told investigators it was “an accidental discharge,” sheriff’s officials announced Thursday. Sgt. Lee Slemp said he accidentally fired his weapon as the woman, whose name has not been released, attempted to flee out a window at 1405 N. Lincoln St. on Sept. 24, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said.


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