The legislation initiated by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich (SB 5668) is very important and necessary. As the Neighborhood Watch coordinator of Spokane County, I have heard firsthand from citizens some of their concerns about law enforcement. This bill has the potential to build the public’s trust and create more positive perceptions of our law enforcement personnel.
The bill does not eliminate arbitration or due process of law. It states that if an employee was fired, and found by the arbitrator to have committed a crime or act of dishonesty, then the arbitrator cannot change that termination and take it upon himself or herself to reinstate the employee in question. It enables our leaders to do the jobs as we have elected them to do.
If Sen. Pam Roach had fully read the bill, she would not have allowed herself to be so easily influenced to ask someone else’s question. The proposed legislation was signed by every sheriff in our state, and the senator should have had the integrity to tell that someone that it is unethical to make this bill a personal matter. The senator took time away from an important bill and Knezovich had every right to be angry.