Amid threats of attack on U.S. soil, Sheriff Knezovich supports - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Amid threats of attack on U.S. soil, Sheriff Knezovich supports deputies carrying while off-duty

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The community being alert and vigilant on or off duty, those are all things that everyone should be aware of. The community being alert and vigilant on or off duty, those are all things that everyone should be aware of.
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -

The recent attacks on Paris have many Americans on edge. 

An ISIS propaganda video released on Monday praises the attacks in Paris and threatens future attacks on American soil, specifically in Washington, D.C. 

U.S. officials have said there doesn't appear to be an imminent threat to the United States, but security has tightened up since the attacks in Paris, including over the weekend at stadiums around the country hosting NFL games. 

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says he wants a safe community for the citizens of Spokane County and encourages his deputies to carry their firearm and keep extra magazine handy while off-duty. 

"In the changing world we're in...this wouldn't be a bad idea," Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory said in a statement to KHQ on Monday. 

Deputies carrying their guns while off-duty is not mandatory, but is encouraged by the Sheriff, though it is unclear how many deputies actually do carry their firearms while not on the clock. Under RCW 9.41.060, law enforcement personnel can carry a concealed weapon without a permit as long as they are employed with a law enforcement agency, have completed government sponsored law enforcement firearms training and have been subject to a check through the national instant criminal background check system within the past five years. 

The idea of deputies carrying while off-duty is not a new one for Sheriff's Knezovich or one spurred on by the recent attacks. It is a policy he has endorsed prior to the attacks. 

When asked if the Sheriff supports citizens carrying firearms, Deputy Mark Gregory replied, "the Sheriff supports the 2nd Amendment."

In Washington, under RCW 9.41.050, a person can carry a concealed pistol as long as they have a concealed weapons permit. 

"The community being alert and vigilant, on or off-duty, those are all things that everyone should be aware of," Deputy Gregory said. 

KHQ also reached out to the Spokane Police Department to ask if they encourage the same policy, but has yet to hear back. 

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