Letter to the Editor: Lewis County Deserves a Better Sheriff


This November, Lewis County faces a very important decision of who should be our sheriff.

Anyone paying attention to the Lewis County Sheriff's Office race can see that our current sheriff has made this race about himself and not about the people when he made the statement to the county commissioners late last year that, "Someone should challenge me if they think they can do a better job." 

Those words don't reflect a person of humility or a person with respect for the people he serves.

Tracy Murphy is not a politician. He is running because as a person with humility and of faith he believes he will make the position of sheriff about the people and not the sheriff. Tracy's over 20 years of experience in law enforcement and his many years of leadership make him an excellent choice for Lewis County sheriff.

I would like to share that my husband has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement, 13 years of that as a reserve deputy for the Lewis County Sheriff's Office. I have known Sheriff Rob Snaza personally since he was a Napavine police officer in the 1990s. I believe eight years ago, when Rob Snaza first ran for sheriff, that he had great ideas, was excited to work for the community and was passionate about the job. 

That is no longer true. Under Snaza’s leadership, the sheriff's office is no longer a part of JNET, has no SWAT team, no K9 program and no Explorers program. He closed the east end substation and has demoted all level one reserves to level two. As level one reserves, they handled calls, provided backup to the full-time deputies and trained alongside the full-time deputies. 

Sheriff Snaza has given numerous excuses for the losses or changes made to these programs and we understand these are difficult decisions. As sheriff you should be confident in those decisions. Sheriff Snaza failed to stand behind his decision with the reserve program. In May 2021, Sheriff Snaza came to the reserves' monthly meeting and told the reserves that with the new laws he would personally deputize each and every one of them if he had to. In June 2021, Sheriff Snaza sent his administration to the reserve meeting to inform them that they were all being demoted to level two. Out of respect for his job and for his reserves he should have come to the June meeting to explain his decision in person. That was over a year ago and he has not been to a reserve meeting since.

The job of sheriff is very difficult and extremely important. As sheriff if you can't personally explain your decision to the people who have volunteered hundreds of hours a year away from their homes and families in support of you and their community, then how can you expect the people of Lewis County to believe that you are the right choice. 

The people of Lewis County deserve a better choice. They deserve Tracy Murphy for sheriff.

Ellen Lee