5 Questions: Sheriff Candidates Spokane County

Both candidates for Spokane County Sheriff were asked the same questions. Compare their answers side by side. The General Election will be November 8th, this year.

We sent the following questions to both candidates at the same time. Their answers are unedited.

What is your perspective on the creation of a Deer Park police department?

Wade Nelson

When I become Sheriff of Spokane County, I will work with the Deer Park community to understand your needs and wants for your law enforcement. I understand how fast Deer Park is growing and with that growth more law enforcement presence is needed. I believe it is my job as Sheriff to uphold your constitutional rights and to make the community a safer place to live and work. That can only be done by building a trusted relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the Community. I promise to build that relationship in hopes to continue as your law enforcement agency.

John Nowels

The will of the citizens of Deer Park must be adhered to relative to their desire for professional police services. I am confident the City of Deer Park is receiving the most professional and capable police services available for the current price of the contract. The Sheriff’s Office provides 24/7 coverage with patrol, investigative, intelligence, specialty unit, and administrative functions.  I am confident the City of Deer Park could not provide comparably trained and equipped police services for less than we are currently charging. We can and will provide increased services for an increased price if desired by the citizens.

What is a deeply held belief that you now believe was wrong, and how has that changed your direction?

Wade Nelson

When I was a young man, I believed our Country would never divide again and that everyone understood America is truly the home of the free and the land of the brave. I now know that there will always be those who are trying to divide us as Americans. I also know that it takes good men and women to stand up to this agenda of division and stand together to protect our constitutional rights. My whole point is, we all need to stand together as Americans, so we can express our different ideas and beliefs without persecution.

John Nowels

Early in my career, I prided myself on my ability to observe, identify, and arrest people involved in criminal activity. I felt my sole job as a Deputy Sheriff was to simply arrest bad guys and put them in jail. I did it very well as both a patrol deputy and an investigator. I now know an effective deputy still knows how to do these activities, but also understands the necessity to interact with all the citizens in their community and develop trusting relationships with them. Our police authority derives from that relationship. That relationship must be our priority.

Who has endorsed you and why are their endorsements important?

Wade Nelson

I have been endorsed by Teamsters Joint Council 28 and Teamsters Local unions, The Local 492 Corrections officers union, State Representative Bob McCaslin (Running for Spokane County Auditor), and many local businesses and individual persons within Spokane County. The endorsements show that the hard-working people of our community want change and a new direction in leadership within the Sheriff’s Office and that I should be that person. It shows that I am not supported by the “Machine”, but by those who I will serve to bring transparency and trust to the office of Sheriff.

John Nowels

I am endorsed Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers; Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich; Deer Park Mayor Tim Verzal; Spokane County Commissioners Kuney, French,and Kerns; Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Haskell; Spokane County Clerk Tim Fitzgerald; Spokane County GOP; Republicans of Spokane County; Spokane County Lieutenants and Captains Association; Spokane Labor Council (AFL-CIO), and 29 other Washington State Sheriff’s and Undersheriffs. See a complete list at:  https://www.nowelsforsheriff.com/endorsements

These and other endorsements show that much of the leadership in our community know that I am the Sheriff Candidate with the education and proven experience to lead Spokane County and the Sheriff’s Office.

What can you do to overcome the staffing problems the Spokane County Sheriff has had historically?

Wade Nelson

This is one of the main reasons I chose to run for Sheriff. Crime within our community is high and has been increasing. The Sheriff’s Office staffing level is one of the lowest in the nation and it did not get that way overnight. I will bring innovative hiring techniques, so we do not continue down the same road that has been failing for several years. I will work to increase our low retention rates, so this does not happen within our community again. The low staffing levels directly affect our ability to provide the services the community needs and deserves.

John Nowels

Almost every police agency throughout the State of Washington is dealing with recruiting issues. Over the last seven years we adopted the most innovative recruiting techniques to include targeted digital advertising locally, and in markets where law enforcement is not supported. We attend every job fair in the region, and all Public Safety Testing events. We recruit at all our local Universities and Community Colleges. We currently offer a $25,000 signing bonus for lateral applicants and $10,000 for new hires. The most effective recruiting tool we now have is a wage scale competing with the Spokane Police Department.

What has the previous Sheriff, Ozzie Knezovich, done both good and bad?

Wade Nelson

Sheriff Knezovich has served this community for a long time and has done much good for our community. One thing he did that I was 100% behind was not requiring any vaccine mandates for our Sheriff’s Office during COVID. One thing that I feel he has failed at is allowing our departments staffing levels to reach such an unprecedented low. Nothing effects our ability to serve the community more than not having the personnel to do so. It sends a ripple through everything we do and the community is seeing the results with the rising crime.

John Nowels

Sheriff Knezovich served the citizens of Spokane County above all other interests. He ensured public safety was the top priority for his community and the Sheriff’s Office. He also developed the Sheriff’s Office into the best trained agency in the State of Washington and demanded the highest level of professionalism from his staff. Sheriff Knezovich was never shy about challenging elected officials and public activists who threatened effective public safety. I will do the same. 

Some people criticize Sheriff Knezovich’s less-than soft approach to conflict. However, just as many people appreciate his honesty even if they don’t agree with him.

Featured Sponsor
Thank You For Your Support!
  • All
  • Animals
  • Archive
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Business
  • Classifieds
  • Community
  • Featured
  • Garden
  • Letters To The Editor
  • Local News
  • Obituaries
  • Opinion
  • Schools
  • Sponsored
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Uncategorized
  • Weather
  • All
  • Animals
  • Archive
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Business
  • Classifieds
  • Community
  • Featured
  • Garden
  • Letters To The Editor
  • Local News
  • Obituaries
  • Opinion
  • Schools
  • Sponsored
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Uncategorized
  • Weather

Share this!

Featured Sponsor
Thank You For Your Support!

Read more news.

Actions Worth Hearing

Hearing impairment issues have prevented residents from being able to participate fully in City Council meetings. During Deaf Awareness Week, the city council canceled its regularly scheduled meeting. Councilman Caleb Stapp is pursuing solutions regardless of the cancellation.

Read More »

5 Questions: Sheriff Candidates Spokane County

Both candidates for Spokane County Sheriff were asked the same questions. Compare their answers side by side. The General Election will be November 8th, this year.
We sent the following questions to both candidates at the same time. Their answers are unedited.

Read More »

Subscribe to our emails

Use the form below to sign up to receive news via email at no cost to you.