Fraternal Order of Police Call for Sheriff Hatcher Investigation
In the wake of all the tumultuous activity involving the Benton County Sheriff's Office, and Sheriff Jerry Hatcher, Wednesday the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police (WSFOP) issued a statement on the subject. It read in part:
"As of late September 2019, the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has been aware of communications distributed to the public by Benton County Deputy Sheriff's Guild, Teamsters Local 839, the Benton County Board of Commissioners, Tri Cities Herald Editorial Board, and generally the residents of Benton County responding in the media on the topic of the alleged activity of Benton County Sheriff Hatcher.
The Washington State FOP joins specifically, in support of their brothers and sisters in the Benton County Deputy Sheriff's Guild and is proud to comment on their courageous decision to no longer support Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher."
The WSFOP, like many Fraternal Orders of law enforcement across the country, are a mix of police and law enforcement unions, and fraternal groups designed to support law officers and support staff.
Their statement went on to say they want to see an internal investigation, possibly criminal investigation, into the issues and disputes going on within the Sheriff's Department, for the purposes of reaching a resolution.
This statement comes on the heels of a similar announcement in early February. The Benton County Deputy Sheriff's Guild said they officially no longer supported Hatcher, referring to him as a "tyrant." The guild represents and is made up of Deputies, Sergeants, Corporals and Lieutenants within the Department.
Hatcher has reportedly told local media outlets the issues and other problems in the department are a result of miscommunications.