When I was appointed Police Chief in Wapato, I found a large number of issues. These include many of the problems outlined in the state auditor’s report that was released on April 2, 2018. In order of importance, I took action.

I started with problems that were a danger to public safety. I reopened cases of firearms assaults and sex offenses. These investigations led to arrests of violent criminals being removed from our community. At the same time, we made real progress on restructuring, remodeling and reducing the problems within the jail. *

While addressing the high priority safety issues, I addressed the financial issues, the contractual issues and a list of other issues that were not identified in the audit report. I was working to address each of these issues when the new city administration was elected. The new administration decided a change was appropriate. This goes with the territory for an appointed Chief. I am grateful for the time that I spent in Wapato as it taught me a great deal about the challenges of leading a very troubled organization.

This is one of the reasons that I am the best candidate for the Yakima County Sheriff’s position. I have the experience of leading two different law enforcement organizations, one that experienced virtually no controversy and the other, an organization that was deeply troubled and required a great deal of flexibility, understanding and leadership to redirect the organization onto the right path.

The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office is not a troubled organization, but it is also not without some critical errors in the last few years. It has been led by a series of Sheriffs that have come from within the organization for more than the last 30 years. It is time for a Sheriff that comes from outside of the organization and has the ability to critically look at each of the different functions. Many law enforcement agencies routinely recruit leaders from outside of their departments. This helps to avoid establishing an “organizational culture” that is resistant to change and brings a fresh set of eyes to see the organization from a critical perspective.

I am the best qualified candidate for Sheriff of Yakima County. I will use the experience gained from being Chief of Police in Zillah and in Wapato to improve the service level provided to the citizens of Yakima County.

David Simmons
Candidate for Sheriff of Yakima County

* For a detailed review of the actions that implemented at the Wapato Police Department, please see my webpage at www.daveforsheriff.com or my Facebook page at facebook.com/DaveforSheriff

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