Spokane County/Spokane Valley Staff Deputies Levels Above Allotted Norms
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police Department, via contract, will be above the allotted staffing levels due to the forward-looking thinking of the Sheriff’s Office, Spokane County Board of County Commissioners and the City of Spokane Valley Officials/Staff.
Law Enforcement, across the nation, has seen a decrease in qualified applicants over the last five years due to the increased negativity and the outright demonization of law enforcement by activists.
With the downturn in the economy, many members of the Sheriff’s Office/Spokane Valley Police Department of the Baby Boomer generation delayed retirements. As the economy began to recover, those retirements became a reality at a higher than normal rate. With the normal attrition of Deputies each year combined with the increase in retirements and lower qualified applicant numbers, we found our staffing numbers, just like many other law enforcement agencies, falling behind.
Working with the County Commissioners and Spokane Valley Staff, Sheriff Knezovich sought an extra 14 funded positions. These additional positions will allow potential new Deputies to move through the long and thorough hiring process and begin training in anticipation of future retirements. This foresight in planning will enable us to hopefully stay at or above our allotted staffing numbers.
As of the end of October, the Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley staffing numbers, including the extra 14 funded positions, is projected to be 100% full. Currently, all 228 authorized positions are filled, and by the end of October, all 14 of the additional funded pre-hire positions will have been filled.
Many questions have been asked recently regarding staffing and specifically, staffing of the Power Shift in Spokane Valley. Since the March of 2018 time frame, the Spokane Valley Power Shift, implemented to increase the number of Spokane Valley Deputies available during the highest times of calls for service, has been fully staffed.
Sheriff Knezovich stated, “It is because of the hard work of our training division that the Sheriff’s Office is at full strength, something that the majority of Law Enforcement agencies across our state and nation are struggling to achieve. The fact that we are at full strength is a testament to our training unit’s hard work and the willingness of the Board of County Commissioners and our partners in the City of Spokane Valley in helping the Sheriff’s Office achieve our goal of ensuring that we are fully staffed.”