Letter to the Editor: Former Sheriff Endorses Tracy Murphy 


In the United States today, there are a little over 3,000 sheriffs. The sheriff is the only elected law enforcement in our country and wields tremendous influence and power within a community.

With that influence and power comes an immense duty and responsibility to work closely in managing their resources with the citizens, other law enforcement agencies, public and private entities and the Legislature to meet the mission of making a community a safer place.

Sheriff Rob Snaza has been woefully inconsistent in providing strong leadership and management in the best interest of meeting the sheriff’s duty and responsibility. He has not effectively and efficiently balanced public safety concerns with available resources.

Over the last eight years, the sheriff chose to reduce the public safety “mission footprint” within our community. Important partnerships, programs and accompanying resources have been allowed to fall by the wayside. Support for vital volunteer services like the reserves, support volunteers, Explorer Scouts, search and rescue, neighborhood watch and the jail chaplain’s program has been substantially reduced or no longer exists. Citizens who want to step forward and volunteer are often discouraged. 

The sheriff chose to terminate instead of strengthening his partnership with the countywide Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team, causing an unnecessary and avoidable conflict between local law enforcement agencies.

The sheriff also chose (as a political ploy) to close the East End Substation, thus reducing a vital presence and forcing an additional burden for residents needing law enforcement services.

One of the most alarming issues was the sheriff’s furtive and manipulative efforts to move our Lewis County 911 dispatch services to Thurston County. 

Our 911 provides a critical life safety service to the citizens of Lewis County and is the starting point for fire, aid and law enforcement response. Despite my numerous requests (as director of emergency services) for an administrative presence from his office to help with the 911 rebuilding process, the sheriff refused to help or step forward in a leadership role. We are best served by maintaining a locally controlled 911 management and service structure, not farming it out to another entity outside of Lewis County.

The sheriff recently made a boastful challenge that someone should run against him if they thought they could do a better job. Someone has, and it’s time for a change.

Tracy Murphy answered the sheriff’s challenge. He is a man of integrity and is responsible, respectful and fair.

Murphy’s a professional who will make the commitment and necessary sacrifices that a sheriff needs to make. He has a solid vision and is committed to restoring and creatively implementing important programs to meet the challenges in our community. He is committed to building strong partnerships, operational transparency, being fiscally responsible and promoting innovative community programs.

A vote for Tracy Murphy is a vote to make our community a safer place to live, work, go to school and raise our families. 

Tracy is the right choice for Lewis County sheriff.

Steve Mansfield

Former Lewis County sheriff and director of emergency services