Spokane County's Emergency Management Office has always shined brightest on the county's darkest days. Examples are the 2015 windstorm and the 2018 Upriver Beacon Fire, where the entire region worked together to repair nature's wrath.
But now the City of Spokane is launching a new, independent Office of Emergency Management next year. This will leave Spokane County and many of the smaller area governments to manage – and pay for managing – emergencies on their own.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the city's plan is a bad move.
"This isn't just one of those political decisions... This is a decision that is probably one of the most irresponsible decisions I have seen a political arm make and jeopardize the safety of a community," Sheriff Knezovich told KHQ's Peter Maxwell.
Not only will it impact safety, but also the region's ability to rebuild after a disaster. The county has relied on the city's contribution to help apply for matching funds from state and federal agencies.