Sheriff Hatcher discusses election results; what's to come for t - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sheriff Hatcher discusses election results; what's to come for the sheriff's office

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TRI-CITIES, WA - Sheriff Hatcher, like every other candidate we've spoken with, says he's relieved the election is finally over. He says now that the election is over, the sheriff's office can get to work at full strength, with Sheriff Hatcher having learned a lot from speaking with the public.

Sheriff Hatcher says the biggest thing he took away from election season was getting boots on the ground and meeting people face-to-face, and hearing comments, thoughts, and concerns from people up close and personal to really figure out what's important to them.

"When you run a campaign, you completely go to the next level," Sheriff Hatcher said. "There's no way you could do that all the time, but whether you're door knocking, whether you're meeting them at the fair, whether you're meeting them at a public forum, you really get a good gauge of what really matters to people out there."

Sheriff Hatcher adds that during election season, he's received a lot of feedback from the people of Benton County, which he says will give the sheriff's office the ability to understand the wants and needs of the communities in the county.

"We received a lot more communications from the public and stuff, even though we have a wide array of ways for them to communicate, it just puts you on another level," explained Sheriff Hatcher. "So, learned a lot about the different things that matter to people out there."

So, now that the election is all but wrapped up, what's next for Sheriff Hatcher and the Benton County Sheriff's Office?

Naming an undersheriff, a position that's been left vacant since Sheriff Hatcher took over acting sheriff duties this past spring...which will bring the sheriff's office up to full strength.

"I have a couple people in mind that I'm looking very closely at," he admitted. "Also looking at our command structure to see if we want to change the structure slightly, so we're going to do a few things, we have a couple big meetings to really sit down and solidify things."

According to the Benton County Auditor's website, there are only 550 more ballots left to be counted, and Sheriff Hatcher holds a 5,000 vote lead on Ken Lattin in the race...which saw just short of 39,000 voters turn out for one of the two candidates.