When considering local candidates for office, I evaluate what types of change and reform incumbents have actually implemented in their time in office. Sheriff Ty Trenary has implemented a number of reforms needed in Snohomish County to deal with homelessness as well as the addiction and overdose crisis we see in our communities. Collaborating with social workers to get people help and get them off of the streets is attacking the problem at the root cause. This is no easy task in one of the fastest growing counties in the nation with an affordable housing shortage.
His opponent is simply the wrong person for the job. Mr. Fortney sees the office as a “paramilitary organization,” and who believes that the county jail can serve as an incarceration center and medical facility and detox facility all-in-one. I’m sorry, but that simply isn’t a reasonable expectation.
It’s also alarming that the first tool he reaches for is to lock people up, seeming to forget that people are innocent until found guilty, and that we shouldn’t spend valuable county resources and tax dollars incarcerating people for non-violent misdemeanors. We need someone leading the sheriff’s department that wants to address the root-causes of crime, not wait until the end result and toss civil liberties out the window in the name of “law and order.”