Anti-vax sheriff sergeant reflects on WSP trooper’s death and his own choice to walk away

Feb 1, 2022, 3:57 PM
A King County Sheriff's Office vehicle. (Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)...
A King County Sheriff's Office vehicle. (Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
(Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)

In some ways, former Washington State Patrol trooper Robert LaMay and King County Sheriff Sergeant Cameron Lefler are alike.

State trooper who told off Gov. Inslee dies after battle with COVID-19

Like LaMay, Lefler spent more than two decades in local law enforcement. Both also opted to take early retirement in their early 50s instead of following Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID vaccine mandate.

Also like LaMay, for Lefler — whose last day on the force was Tuesday – the choice to leave was out of principle. He told Dori Monson Show listeners he walked away 14 months before what would have been his 30-year mark and standard retirement because “complete sovereignty and liberty over your own life” was more important than being forced to “take an experimental vaccine.

After the unexpected death of retired Trooper LaMay, does that give you pause, Dori asked Lefler.

“Here you are in a similar situation at a similar age. You say that does not bother you,” Dori said.

“It does not,” Lefler replied. “His life meant something. He exercised his religious beliefs. His some 20-some-odd years of service is something that he should be remembered for. He lived a good life. There is no guarantee that this vaccine would have saved him or anybody else.”

Lefler said he resents state and King County officials calling employees who refuse the vaccine “a danger to the public.” People who have been double- or triple-vaccinated are still spreading it. (Read more about breakthrough cases from the CDC here.)

“It’s a choice to make for my body and my life,” Lefler continued.

He credits good eating habits and fast-food avoidance for his “robust immune system.” He also credits his faith, adding, “I will be taken care of by the Lord.”

But with the departure of nearly 70 others in the King County Sheriff’s Office, Lefler worries about the impact this will have on public safety.

With King County criminal violence rates up 50% in 2021, Lefler is concerned about what he calls the “80% of the people in the middle.”

“They’re actually just good, honest, tax-paying people that want to live the American dream,” he said.

“We know in our hearts that this 80% of people appreciate us, and need us, and want us holding that line every night,” Lefler said. “If we weren’t out there, … the criminal element — the bad people that are all around us — … are now emboldened to step up and start doing more.

“There’s a power grab,” Lefler added, “and it’s not about guns; it’s about violence. Whatever the tool is, it doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in people’s hearts.”

Listen to Dori’s entire interview with retiring King County Sheriff Sgt. Cameron Lefler:

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Anti-vax sheriff sergeant reflects on WSP trooper’s death and his own choice to walk away