Ed and Kristie Owens share their thoughts in the race for Clark County sheriff
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
The citizens of Clark County will vote for their next sheriff and they have an important choice to make. The social climate today towards Law Enforcement requires transparency, leadership that values diversity and embraces integrity, and serving the public interest. The overwhelming majority of the deputies serve the Clark County community with integrity, honor, and deserve a leader worthy of their service. John Horch is NOT the leader the deputies deserve. Horch is NOT the leader the citizens of Clark County deserve.
John Horch lacks the integrity needed to lead the Sheriff’s Office and represent the citizens of Clark County. He has a long history of being disciplined for a wide range of issues that the public is unaware of and deserves to know about. Here are some of the Internal Affairs (IA) reports that deserve transparency.
John Horch was investigated for domestic violence incidents involving his previous wife by the CCSO (IA Report S04-5667) that saw the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office brought in to lead the investigation. That investigation included a dozen documented 9-1-1 calls/responses to his home back then. Ultimately, the investigation hit a dead end because witnesses were too afraid to cooperate with investigators.
He doesn’t value diversity in the Sheriff’s Office or community and was demoted from sergeant to deputy for destroying Clark County diversity posters at Central Precinct (IA Report S00-901). He has also been disciplined for failing to file required police reports (IA Reports S00-1104 and 00-1105). He was also disciplined for improperly handling evidence (IA Report S94-1005).
Integrity and transparency are critical for the voters to have before the election. The voters need to make an educated choice when voting for their sheriff. These reports, and all employee evaluations surrounding these IA investigations, should be made available to the public without delay before votes are cast in the election. Both candidates should allow their full personnel files to be made open to the public. The citizens of Clark County deserve this transparency as much as they deserve a leader worthy of leading the Clark County Sheriff’s Office into the future. Trust between the community and law enforcement requires full transparency. Any candidate for public office who is unwilling to be fully transparent doesn’t deserve the voters’ support on election day.
Ed & Kristie Owens
Former Battle Ground residents
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