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Pierce County Council president Doug Richardson running for sheriff

Pierce County Sheriff's Office. (KIRO 7)

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor is retiring, and that leaves open the top law enforcement spot in the county. Last week, the Jason Rantz Show spoke with Detective Ed Troyer, the spokesperson for the department, who announced his campaign for sheriff on KIRO Radio.

Also entering the race is Pierce County Council president Doug Richardson, former mayor of Lakewood, and a 32-year veteran of active and reserve service with the Army.

He joined the show to discuss what prompted him to run.

“My thoughts were that the leadership that I had experienced in running large organizations might make it a natural command for me to develop the culture in the department,” he said. “So I went on quite, I guess you’d call it, a listening tour of interviewing with people that were in law enforcement about what I thought I could bring to bear with leadership and experience with large budgets.”

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“I expected somewhere along the line I would hear that, ‘but you’re not in law enforcement, so thanks for coming in,’ and I can humbly report to you that that didn’t happen,” Richardson said. “I was met with encouragement to do exactly that.”

As Jason noted, while they might not have an issue with Richardson not having law enforcement experience, voters might. So what would he say to the voters considering that he’s running up against someone who does have plenty of law enforcement experience?

“Being the sheriff is about leadership, developing command, climate, developing a culture focused primarily on the safety and security of our deputies by ensuring that they have the absolute best training,” Richardson said.

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“But you also have to craft very large budgets. You know the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department on the sheriff side, it’s about $87 million a year. And on the correction side, that’s another $60 million a year. … and I have a great deal of experience in developing and managing budgets.”

Adam Fortney, Snohomish County Sheriff, announced via Facebook that he was not going to enforce the governor’s stay-at-home order over constitutional issues, and it seems like Inslee is not actually asking law enforcement to enforce the rules traditionally, in terms of giving tickets and putting people in jail. If Richardson were in the sheriff’s position, how would he handle this order?

“I would continue exactly what the department is doing,” he said. “It’s more about education, of coming up to people in the public and saying, ‘Hey, you may want to spread out, there’s a large congregation.’ But we have significant other activities that sheriffs need to be involved with.”

To learn more about Richardson’s campaign, head here.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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