I guess we still ARE the wild, wild west!

Aug 8, 2023 | 0 comments

According to the Washington State Legislature online site: RCW 36.28.025 dealing with Qualifications for the office of sheriff says:  A person who files a declaration of candidacy for the office of sheriff after September 1, 1979, shall have, within twelve months of assuming office, a certificate of completion of a basic law enforcement training program which complies with standards adopted by the criminal justice training commission pursuant to RCW 43.101.080 and * 43.101.160.

So, as I understand it, you or I, regardless of our training in law enforcement, could run for County Sheriff and hold that office for a year with NO (NADA, ZIP) knowledge of the law or of how to enforce it.  I’m not sure we all understood this when we elected our present sheriff last November.

And I doubt that any of us realized that if he was criticized or questioned by our local media, he would simply fold up his tent and say “no more interviews” claiming that he is being misinterpreted.  Bad enough that those of us on the Peninsula feel absolutely unnoticed by the sheriff’s department (as in when is the last time you saw a speeder or reckless driver pulled over on Sandridge Road?) but now our one and only “connection” with the Sheriff’s Department — our venerable Chinook Observer — has been stonewalled.

Wot the hell?  Teachers without training and credentials don’t get hired.  Attorneys without training and credentials don’t get to hang out their shingles.  Ditto doctors and nurses and  all manner of professionals.  Why are sheriffs the exception?

Kinda scary if you ask me.  Especially if the electorate (that’s us, folks) is basically uninformed or “assumes” the best of anyone wanting to run for that office.  Garcia claims he is not a “Constitutional Sheriff” in his interview with King 5.  (In case you don’t know — “The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association [CSPOA] is a political organization of local police officials in the United States who contend that federal and state government authorities are subordinate to the local authority of county sheriffs and police.}

Well, without the fourth estate in the picture, how do we really know WHAT Daniel Garcia is up to?  (In case you’ve forgotten  — While the Constitution established the executive, legislative and judicial branches, the phrase “Fourth Estate” reflects the unofficial but widely accepted role the news media play in providing citizens with information they can use to check government power.)

I don’t know about you, but the entire situation makes me nervous. I was glad to see that King 5 TV was paying attention and did a short interview with Editor Matt Winters yesterday as well as with Mr. Garcia.  Seeing it online, however, did not make me less nervous.

 

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