About this race
Serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the county. The sheriff provides law enforcement coverage for the county’s unincorporated areas and several cities, including Spokane Valley, Deer Park and Medical Lake. In addition, the sheriff oversees emergency management and is the person in charge of dealing with natural disasters. The incumbent, Ozzie Knezovich, won big in the primary, but his opponent has the backing of the union that represents county deputies. Salary: $117,000.
Sheriff, Spokane County
|Ozzie Knezovich (R)||103,412||70.92%|
|Doug Orr (R)||42,394||29.08%|
* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.
Video shot at the Spokane Valley Mall shows a deputy explaining why the Sheriff’s Office needs a mine-resistant, military-style vehicle. He replies, “We’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, a lot of ammunition.” I’m not thrilled with the militarization of law enforcement, but I don’t believe the buildup is leading to an assault on law-abiding citizens. Law enforcement is increasingly afraid of the public and vice versa.
Depending on whom you ask, the timing of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s request for the Spokane police ombudsman to assume a similar role for the county may be perfect, or politically motivated. Discussions between Knezovich and Tim Burns, the man who’s conducted internal reviews of police cases since 2008, have ramped up in recent weeks to formalize a long-standing relationship between the two agencies, the two men said. Knezovich said his pitch to county commissioners Tuesday morning is the culmination of months of discussions he’s had with Burns and the Center for Justice to develop an oversight structure of the department similar to the one in place at the city.
Last week’s off-year election isn’t even certified yet, and now 2014 already is heating up. Spokane police Detective Doug Orr is gearing up for a run against Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Orr, who also serves as an adjunct criminal justice professor at Gonzaga University, has filed…