Twisp police chief cites concerns about enforcement issues
Paul Budrow, Twisp police chief since 2011, has announced a run for Okanogan County Sheriff.
Budrow, a member of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) legislative board, said he’s concerned about the state of law enforcement in the county and the state.
As a small-town police chief, he said he has less sway among state organizations like WASPC than a sheriff would.
“As a sheriff I [would] have a lot more clout that way in getting that type of stuff done and it’s time to put my expertise and abilities in community policing and emergency management into a greater effort for the county, not just to the citizens of Twisp and the Methow Valley,” he told the Methow Valley news this week.
Budrow said that in the early to mid-2010s, Washington was held up as a model of modern policing. However, he said legislators are rushing to change laws in reaction to police brutality concerns elsewhere.
“Don’t change something that’s not broke,” he said.
Tony Hawley has been Okanogan County Sheriff since 2019. Budrow plans to challenge him in the November 2022 election.
Career in law
Before he was hired as Twisp’s Police Chief, Budrow was police chief for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe in Sedro-Woolley for eight years and before that was a deputy for the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years.
Budrow grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from college with a degree in biology and chemistry. He was previously a scuba instructor in the Navy reserves and was a member of a dive search and recovery team in Massachusetts.
Budrow was given an Outstanding Community Service Award by the Town of Twisp in December 2015 for his work during the previous summer’s wildfires. He and wife, Aimee Budrow, have also been honored for their devotion to fostering and adopting children.
In 2017, Budrow unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Methow Valley School District board of directors. At the time, he said he was particularly concerned about liability for the school district from bullying and other safety problems at schools, and said he was concerned issues like drugs and alcohol were “being swept under the rug.”
In 2020, Budrow joined Hawley and eight other regional police leaders in a discussion with Rep. Dan Newhouse of the state’s Fourth Congressional District to discuss legislation arising from national demonstrations against police brutality.
At the time, Budrow said police in Washington were already abiding by many of the reforms in the legislation, saying “We as a people are so lucky to have the law enforcement we have in Washington state. We are very progressive.”
For more information, go to www.facebook.com/Paul-Budrow-for-Okanogan-County-Sheriff-rep-101688665734567.