I retired from the Centralia Police Department after many years of service to the city. I have known and worked with both candidates for Lewis County sheriff for most of their adult lives. I supervised the forerunner to the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team, the unit candidate Tracy Murphy now supervises. I have been a coworker, supervisor and co-manager with Murphy for many years. When I worked in the detective unit and supervised the Centralia SWAT team and anti-crime unit, I worked very closely with Sheriff Rob Snaza.
Knowing both candidates well, I can say without any doubt that I endorse Sheriff Snaza for re-election.
I have always known Sheriff Snaza to be faithful to the people of Lewis County his entire career and we are fortunate to have him as our sheriff. My professional experience with Sheriff Snaza was always one of cooperation, collaboration and mutual respect. We worked hard together to serve the best interests of both the city and the county as well. Sheriff Snaza has had to make some tough decisions as sheriff. He has assembled a very competent leadership team and he has realistically employed the limited resources of the county to serve the best interests of the people he represents, and that includes the people who live in the cities.
I have seen that untrue, exaggerated or distorted statements are being used to portray some of the issues in this campaign. I have heard promises made that are not realistic based on the changing nature of the new police reform laws in effect, the recent court decisions by the state supreme court and by budgeting realities.
Candidate Murphy does not mention the new requirements of SB 5259 and RCW 10.118.030, which provides reporting requirements for the use of police dogs. This has had the effect of severely limiting their use. Murphy also does not address the fact that the possession of drugs has been essentially decriminalized by the state supreme court in State v. Blake. Drug convictions were overturned, offenders were released and the state is refunding money paid in fines fees and court costs.
Scarce police resources must be reassigned to address crimes in progress and public safety. Misleading people about what you can accomplish based on what you think the law should be instead of what the law actually is does not increase public safety.
Sheriff Snaza continues to take the high road, make wise decisions based on facts and has crafted a team at the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office that we can all continue to be proud of. Snaza makes smart decisions based on knowledge of the law, experience and the strength of his team.
One of the simplest rules in life is, “If it works, don’t mess with it.” You are truly “safer with Snaza.”