Benton County commissioners support sheriff’s guild’s disapproval of Sheriff Hatcher

Hatcher responds to guild's letter

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. — The Benton County Board of Commissioners wrote a letter to the Benton County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild on Tuesday in support of the guild’s decision to stop supporting Sheriff Jerry Hatcher as he seeks a second term.

The guild, which consists of deputies, corporals, sergeants and lieutenants, said in a written statement on Jan. 31. that they tried to bring concerns to Hatcher, but he did not make necessary changes.

“We also fear there will be retaliation from [Hatcher], whether it be overt or subtle, and we are very concerned about the intimidation and retaliation this stance will likely bring to the guild members,” the guild said.

The guild said that prior to Hatcher taking office, they had a vibrant culture. After he was elected, they claim he destroyed the “positive culture.”

“We can best define [Hatcher] as a Tyrant,” the guild said. “You exercise your power similar to that of an oppressive dictator.”

On Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners described Hatcher’s first term in office as “failed leadership.”

In a letter to the guild, commissioners said, “It saddens us that your working environment has been deteriorated so quickly and drastically during Sheriff Hatcher’s tenure, and we wish to express our gratitude to you all as you continue to work diligently in the negative environment described in the Benton County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild’s letter to us on January 31, 2020.”

The letter continues, “Your work is difficult and stressful enough as it is. We will do everything in our power to ensure that you have the resources necessary to continue to serve our community with the outstanding service and professionalism you are known for. Thank you for everything you do for our community. Please be assured that our doors are always opened.

The bill was signed by commissioners Jim Beaver, Jerome Delvin and Shon Small.