Sheriff Knezovich: 'Our Criminal System Has To Change' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sheriff Knezovich: 'Our Criminal System Has To Change'

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash - Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich made a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners Wednesday in partnership with a jail consultant he's been working with for years, David Bennett.

The message they sent was loud and clear: our criminal system has to change.

Right now, no matter how hard law enforcement crack down on criminals (and repeat offenders in particular), there sometimes isn't room for them in the county jail, or if they do, the offenders are often back out on the street within a matter of hours or days.

Knezovich said that has to stop.

"We're going to come after you. That's the message [to offenders]. We're going to come after you and hold you accountable. That's what this entire system is designed on," Sheriff Knezovich told KHQ.

That ‘system' is a new model for giving criminals measurable, immediate consequences, rather than the evolving door. Bennett said in communities where such models have been enacted, crime rate have dropped dramatically.

But the details of the plan still need to be figured out, and there are a few hurdles to address before any changes would be effective, like more manpower within law enforcement, more jail beds, and more power in the hands of the prosecutor.

"Our current system is creating more victims. That needs to end. The residents of Spokane County need to be assured if someone's breaking into your house, that's going to be dealt with," Knezovich added.

He hopes to have some version of this new model up and running by March. At this point, he said the next step is he's inviting members of all local law-enforcement agencies to come to the table and get on board, because it will only be effective if the policy throughout the Inland Northwest is consistent.

And Knezovich had some tough words for any local agency that doesn't come:

"They can explain to the community why they're not at the table, they can explain to the community why they're not taking action.  It's time to draw a line."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
  • 10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    Wednesday, November 27 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-11-27 07:35:08 GMT
    Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com. Yes, they all need some work and some need a lot more than others, but when your mortgage payment is around the $200/month range there's at least something to stay positive about.>>
  • Dozens of buildings burned in Washington wildfire

    Dozens of buildings burned in Washington wildfire

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:08:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The wind-driven fire in north central Washington destroyed as many as 100 buildings - most of them homes - according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. Rogers gave that update Friday morning in his update on the status of the Carlton Complex Fire burning around the communities of Pateros, Twisp and Brewster.>>
    KHQ.COM - The wind-driven fire in north central Washington destroyed as many as 100 buildings - most of them homes - according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. Rogers gave that update Friday morning in his update on the status of the Carlton Complex Fire burning around the communities of Pateros, Twisp and Brewster.>>