SPOKANE COUNTY—A pair of Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies were named as some of Washington State’s top firearms instructors. It is all part of a new plan to standardize the way law enforcement officers are trained to use their guns.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich helped to spearhead the plan. The plan basically means that local agencies will come to Spokane to receive firearms training. Sheriff Knezovich said it will save taxpayer dollars in the end.
“This is a game changer for the state of Washington,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
Sheriff Knezovich pitched the idea of creating standardized firearms training for law enforcement six years prior to 2014.
Each individual agency was responsible for creating its own training programs.
A state commission has created standards on how police departments and sheriff’s offices should train their employees on how to handle guns.
"Having standardized training is something we didn't have before. Being certified by the state is something we didn't have before,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
The State named four so-called master firearms instructors on Tuesday. They will give training to local agencies who will then train their own officers and deputies.
Two of the four master instructors are Spokane County deputies Dan Knight and Brian Moen. That means that Inland Northwest agencies will not have to send their fire arms instructors all the way to the west side of the state to get certified.
Sheriff Knezovich said that is a lot of tax dollars in travel being saved.
"Saves agencies in this region time and money, and it gives our firearms instructors more experience on developing their skills,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
The standardized firearms training is now going to be mandatory for all law enforcement agencies in the state. Sheriff Knezovich said it will take a couple of years to transition into the model.