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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane Valley police chief retiring in June

Mark Werner, who will retire as police chief of Spokane Valley in June, poses for a photo in 2016 at the Spokane Public Safety Building. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Mark Werner, who will retire as police chief of Spokane Valley in June, poses for a photo in 2016 at the Spokane Public Safety Building. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Valley Police Chief Mark Werner will retire in June after 21 years with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and four years leading the Spokane Valley department.

“I am privileged and honored to have had the opportunity to serve as the Chief of Police for the Spokane Valley these past four years,” Werner said in a statement. “The Spokane Valley Police Department has tremendous support from citizens, city staff and elected officials for which we are extremely grateful.”

Werner served in the U.S. Air Force for nine years before joining the sheriff’s office, according to a news release. He served as patrol division commander for the sheriff’s office, overseeing the SWAT and dive teams, in addition to other units, for six years before becoming the Spokane Valley chief.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich nominated three deputies for the chief position in 2016, and Spokane Valley city manager Mark Calhoun selected Werner based on input from officials and staff who interviewed him.

“Serving your community and country takes dedication and sacrifice,” Knezovich said in a statement. “We thank Chief Werner, and let’s not forget his family, for his commitment and service.”

Werner has served as a member of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, National Tactical Officers Association, Washington State Tactical Officers Association and the Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force Policy Board.

Werner often had a plush unicorn in the corner of his office in the Public Safety Building before he became chief, though the toy wasn’t for any of his grandchildren.

“We get the unicorn if we say something that’s unrealistically positive,” Werner told The Spokesman-Review in 2016. “Yes, it’s in my office a lot. I guess I’m that ‘the glass is always half-full’ kind of guy.”

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