SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – The sitting sheriff was disarmed at the Spokane Arena. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich was flabbergasted Saturday night when he says he tried to enter the Spokane Chiefs game at the site. The Spokane County sheriff was there to promote a charity hockey game, but wasn’t allowed inside with his firearm.
The Spokane Chiefs are a junior ice hockey team that plays in the Western Hockey League based out of Spokane. The team plays its home games at the Spokane Arena. Their uniforms are similar to those of the NHL’s Montreal Canadians.
Disarmed sheriff speaks out
The sheriff told Fox 28 he is always on duty, so he always carries his gun with him. Yet when he tried getting into the Spokane Arena Saturday, security told him that he needed to leave his weapon in his car. Apparently their policy would not exempt the sheriff.
“This is bureaucracy and bureaucrats run wild. I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” Sheriff Knezovich said. The sheriff says he plans to ask the board that operates the venue why he has to be disarmed because he says, “It makes zero sense.”
“I can understand if we are off duty, if there’s liquor being sold there, I can understand that. But when you are on duty and representing the county at an event, I’ve just never heard anything like this,” Sheriff Knezovich said, ” Many, many of the active shooter type situations that happen in this nation have been stopped by off duty police officers carrying their weapons.”
Knezovich said he removed his gun since he had to get inside and planned to raise the issue with management later, reported Fox News.
— Patrick Erickson KHQ (@patrickerickson) February 12, 2017
Kevin Twohig, the executive director of the public facilities district that runs the arena, said on-duty officers in uniform are allowed to keep their guns, but off-duty officers aren’t.
“If they’re not in uniform how would we know they’re on duty?” he told The Spokesman-Review.
Common sense negated
Knezovich said he was wearing a badge on his suit. Regardless, common sense would seem to dictate the sitting sheriff is always on duty. Being disarmed is foolish.
So this arena like so many others has prohibited off-duty officers from protecting others due to a firearms ban. This is paramount to removing the sprinkler system in the building required to extinguish a fire. Unfortunately, it’s happening everywhere.
The arena’s policies can be read in full here.