YAKIMA, Wash. — Anthony Bosworth, a 40-year-old farmer and Army veteran with no prior law enforcement experience, has announced his intention to run for Yakima County sheriff, joining a field of five other candidates vying to replace retiring Sheriff Ken Irwin.
Bosworth said he decided to run because he is concerned about what he sees as overreaching by the federal government.
“I’ve seen too many sheriffs placate the federal government,” Bosworth said. “The sheriff’s job is to protect the people, not the federal government.”
If he were elected, Bosworth said he would protect Yakima County residents from federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management and the Internal Revenue Service.
Bosworth was one of several Yakima County residents who went to southern Nevada in April to support rancher Cliven Bundy in his standoff with federal officials over unpaid grazing fees.
Of the six candidates, Bosworth is the only one without prior experience as a law enforcement officer. Under state law, a newly elected sheriff has up to a year to get basic law enforcement training to be qualified as sheriff.
Bosworth, who said his 17 years in the Army qualifies him for the job, said he would take the state’s law enforcement academy class if he is elected.
Additionally, Bosworth said he would expand the sheriff’s jurisdiction to the entire county, including cities and towns, as well as post deputies in every school for security.
The sheriff’s office currently patrols the unincorporated portions of Yakima County, as well as communities that do not have their own police force. The department now has 54 sworn officers, compared to 64 in 2009.
As for getting enough deputies to cover the county and the schools, Bosworth said he would offer training to interested residents who could be deputized as needed.
Boworth said as sheriff his office would also go after police officers who break the law. If he were sheriff now, Bosworth said he would have arrested Yakima police Officer Casey Gillette for fatally shooting Rocendo Arias at an East Nob Hill Boulevard car wash in January. Bosworth said Gillette illegally entered Arias’ car just before shooting him.
Gillette told investigators from his own department that he opened the car door to check Arias, who he thought might be a drunken driver, and fired four shots after Arias lunged at him with a handgun. The gun turned out to be a replica that fired plastic pellets.
Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Hagarty ruled the shooting was justified, but Arias’ family is planning to sue Gillette and the department, according to an attorney representing the family.
The other announced candidates for sheriff are sheriff’s Deputy Steve Changala, 52, Tieton police Chief Jeff Ketchum, 44, sheriff’s Lt. Brian Winter, 54, Ellensburg police Capt. Jim Keightley, 54, and former sheriff’s deputy Rick Mottice, 47.