SPOKANE, Wash. — More than two years after announcing his retirement, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told KREM 2 he has accepted an offer to serve as undersheriff in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.
Republican candidate for Sweetwater County Sheriff Dwane Pacheco announced in a Facebook post that if he is elected, Knezovich would serve as his undersheriff.
“The addition of Ozzie to my team adds National and International Law Enforcement experience and will enhance my commitment to effective leadership,” Pacheco wrote in the post.
Knezovich grew up in Rock Springs and Superior, Wyoming. He started his career in law enforcement as Superior's town marshal in 1990.
“My family lives in Wyoming. All my kids, all the grandkids, and so we’ve decided we’ll be moving to Wyoming,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with KREM 2, Knezovich said he is still retiring from the sheriff’s office.
“Yes, I'm still retiring but people get a misperception about retirement,” he said. “I'm just shifting gears. I'm going to go and do other things. I still have a goal of teaching at the college level. And I have other opportunities I'm looking into and one popped up just recently.”
Knezovich was considering running for re-election in 2022, even after he announced his retirement from the office in 2019. That was until he suffered from a heart attack in December 2021.
For Knezovich, this was the tipping point that made him realize it was time to move closer to his family.
“Until that happened, I was on the verge of announcing that I was going to run again,” he revealed. "It truly was that tipping point because had that not happened, I'd be involved in a campaign right now."
Knezovich said if a similar opportunity presented itself in Washington state, he may have stuck around.
"Life is very much about timing," he explained. "Who would have ever known that I'm on the verge of getting ready to leave the sheriff's office and a friend would reach out and say, 'Hey, let's team up and let's change the dynamic'? It's really timing."
Knezovich announced he would not be seeking re-election back in September 2019, saying he wanted to teach college classes in the future. Knezovich has served as sheriff since he was appointed in 2006 and has since won four elections.
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