Challenger for Chelan Co. Sheriff says Morale & Turnover Big Concerns
Mike Morrison is a candidate for Chelan County Sheriff.
The 42-year-old Republican is a native of Lacey who has spent 16 years in law enforcement, including the last eight as a deputy with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.
He has also served as president of the Chelan County Deputy Sheriff’s Association since 2020 and was a resource officer for the Cascade School District for four years.
Morrison says he feels the sheriff’s office needs to change the direction of its current leadership and cites the number of recent lawsuits brought against the county - both pending and already settled – as a major indicator for why he believes this is so.
“The lawsuits have been huge. We’re over two million dollars paid out so far and we have another federal suit coming up in the spring of 2023. So I called them out and said ‘hey, you don’t see East Wenatchee P.D. or Douglas County (Sheriff’s Office) or Wenatchee P.D. getting sued’.”
Morrison also says communication and morale within the sheriff’s office has greatly diminished since his tenure began, and this has led to a significant amount of turnover within the agency.
“We’ve had 46 employees leave here since 2014, that’s more than half our agency. And when you see that the main focus of why they left was morale or the way they were treated, you have to say 'you can’t have half your agency leaving simply because they’re not treated well'. Most who are leaving law enforcement nationwide are doing so because it’s tough.”
Morrison is running against fellow Republican and current Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett, who is seeking a fourth term and won the primary election in August with 55 percent of the vote.