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On-Duty Sheriff Forced To Disarm Before Entering Arena During Law Enforcement Event

February 15, 2017

While on duty, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich showed up at Spokane Arena for a special event: the Spokane law enforcement vs. Tri-Cities law enforcement charity event; which preceded the Spokane Chiefs hockey game. Though this wasn’t the first event of this kind that Knezovich attended, it was the first time he was asked to disarm before entering.

A few months back, the Spokane Area implemented a no-weapons rule which left the Sheriff in violation of when he tried entering with his firearm.

“They disarmed me at the door and I’m on duty,” Knezovich told the Spokesman-Review. “I had to go put my gun in the car. It was just a new level of insanity. On-duty police officers do not get disarmed.”

Knezovich says he obeyed the rule because he was in a hurry but definitely plans to follow up with arena officials.

Kevin Twohig, executive director of the Public Facilities District that operates the arena, refused to comment on the incident stating that he was not familiar with what had happened that evening. He did say, however, that at the arena on-duty officers in uniform are allowed to keep their guns, but officers not in uniform are not.

“If they’re not in uniform how would we know they’re on duty?” Twohig said.

When Knezovich arrived at the arena he was wearing a suit with a badge on the lapel and the security staff did recognize him but all they could do was apologize for the inconvenience.

“This is atrocious. Every year I go there. Every year I’ve been armed,” Knezovich said.