SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- Six Spokane County Sheriff's Office deputies have applied to become Spokane Police Department officers. Officials said this could cause problems for the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the deputies’ moves all boil down to numbers.
Spokane Police Department leaders said an officer’s maximum pay is more than $76,000. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy's pay tops out at more than $11,000 less than a police officer. The Sheriff said one of the deputies approached him to explain his decision saying officers could make nearly $500,000 more over the course of their career.
The Sheriff said he sees where the deputies are coming from and he admits the department will feel the sting.
“It’ll make things tight, but we’ll be able to absorb it. We currently have people in the academy, it’ll just take us longer to get back up to where we need to be. It’ll take about nine months for us to recover from that,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
Spokane Police leaders did not want to speak with KREM 2 News about this matter. The sheriff said Spokane Police Chief Straub told him if the number of deputies applying for his open officer slots is more than six, he will make sure the County has enough deputies to get by.
The Sheriff added that this could have something to do with their contract negotiations right now. He said the county had filed an unfair labor practice against the Deputy Sheriff’s Association for regressive bargaining.