The no-weapons rule enacted at the Spokane Arena a few months ago snagged an unintended victim Saturday night – Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
Knezovich arrived at the arena for the Spokane law enforcement vs. Tri-Cities law enforcement charity event before the Spokane Chiefs hockey game when he was forced to disarm himself before going inside.
“They disarmed me at the door and I’m on duty,” he said. “I had to go put my gun in the car.”
Knezovich said he didn’t have time to argue because he had to get inside, though he plans to follow up with arena officials. “It was just a new level of insanity,” he said. “On-duty police officers do not get disarmed.”
Kevin Twohig, executive director of the Public Facilities District that operates the arena, said he couldn’t comment on the incident because he did not know what had happened. In general, on-duty officers in uniform are allowed to keep their guns, but officers not in uniform are not, he said.
“If they’re not in uniform how would we know they’re on duty?” he said.
Knezovich said he was wearing a suit with a badge on the lapel. The security staff recognized him and were apologetic, he said.
“This is atrocious,” he said. “Every year I go there. Every year I’ve been armed.”