Undersheriff Hatcher intends to run for Sheriff Keane's position - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Undersheriff Hatcher intends to run for Sheriff Keane's position in November

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KENNEWICK, WA - Today, the Benton County Commissioners approved Undersheriff Jerry Hatcher to take over for Sheriff Steve Keane as interim sheriff on April 1st. That is, until the commissioners appoint a more permanent interim sheriff to finish out Keane's term.

But Hatcher also made another announcement today. As we know, Sheriff Keane will be stepping down April 1st as he continues to recover from his cancer battle, so Hatcher will take over on an interim basis...but reporter Rex Carlin learned that Hatcher also announced today he intends to run in November's election for a full term of his own as Benton County Sheriff.

Friends, family, colleagues, and Sheriff Keane turned out today for Hatcher's announcement, which came just minutes after the Benton County Commissioners appointed him interim sheriff.

Hatcher says it will be mostly business as usual for the sheriff's office since he's been so heavily involved as Keane's undersheriff during his fight with cancer, but he says there are a couple areas he wants to emphasize. 

"I will continue a strong focus on the gang activity within the community. I will be expanding our current gang team to enhance our ability to disrupt gang activity and focus on combating gang activity and crime," Hatcher said. "In addition, I will be enhancing our special investigative units in collaboration with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners."

Sheriff Keane will step down April 1st, and Hatcher will fulfill Keane's duties until the board of commissioners appoints an interim sheriff until the November election, where Hatcher will face at least two other candidates on the ballot for the position.

The two other candidates who announced their intentions to run for the position are Kennewick Police Sergeant Ken Lattin and Benton County Sergeant Bob Brockman.