Letter to the editor: Elect Susanna Johnson Snohomish County Sheriff


It was an honor to work with the then-Snohomish County Sheriff Operations Bureau Chief, Susanna Johnson, who oversaw Sheriff technology initiatives.

As a Senior Analyst in the Department of Information Technology, I program and project managed, coordinated and tracked technology projects for the Snohomish County Sheriff for about six years of my over 24 years of service for Snohomish County. During a 38-month period of that time, I oversaw the completion of over 102 Sheriff projects. Project highlights included: a countywide 911 dispatch system that uses digital mapping and GPS on vehicles to improve first responder response times, new ruggedized laptops providing safety, communication and performance, the first Snohomish County Sheriff Corrections electronic medical records system to help save lives in medical assessment and treatment of inmates, an automotive computer system to track safety conditions for Sheriff vehicles and reduce crashes, etc.

Operations Bureau Chief Johnson exhibited excellence in public safety and service leadership. She provided vision for improvements, was competent, led by example, fostered strengths of her staff supporting her teams, listened to, welcomed expert advice, and provided predictable integrity. If Chief Johnson gave her word, she would follow through and she was well known for her commitment to staff and the people of Snohomish County.

If elected Snohomish County Sheriff, Susanna Johnson will bring critical progress and integrity for the people of our county. Please vote for Susanna Johnson for Snohomish County Sheriff.

Leon Zainwel

  1. What experience does she have on the streets? Sounds like a lot of computer work behind a desk. We need a sheriff to enforce the law not show charts about it.

  2. I second the support of Susanna Johnson for Sheriff. She has the experience as a street deputy, detective, K9, SWAT, LT., Captain, up to Bureau Chief at the SCSO. She is a 30 year veteran at SCSO and has outstanding resume, temperament, dedication to the rule of law, ethics and truth telling. Please vote for Susanna Johnson for Sheriff. She has the endorsement of EVERY PAST SHERIFF (going back a few decades). That speaks volumes.
    I worked at SCSO for 14 years and she had a stellar reputation during my service. Vote for her in November!!

  3. Adam Fortney has already proven that he a successful and effective Sheriff who prioritizes Public Safety and community building.

    The writer neglected to mention that Susanna Johnson is endorsed by over a dozen Unions and many self-declared Democrat Organizations. That matters.

    The position of Sheriff is NON PARTISAN.

    I think the endorsements that the writer neglected to mention are telling. Will Johnson be beholden to outside interests?

    Adam Fortney is endorsed by 9 Police Associations across Snohomish County and also by a plethora of Local Elected Officials and Business owners in Snohomish County.

    I recently had the opportunity to go to hear and meet Sheriff Fortney to learn more about his priorities. He began his current term in the midst of the Pandemic, and Fortney pledged to keep the County Jail open to protect public safety. He successfully did so, and because he implemented strict protocols to protect those booked into the jail from getting ill, there was not one case of Covid among those booked.
    He is a team builder who is passionate about protecting the community and is fair, level-headed, and a friend to businesses.
    Adam has no personal agenda and I like that he’s a “boots on the ground” kind of leader who actively seeks out community input and takes a collaborative approach to issues.

    I will vote for Sheriff Fortney.

    1. Weird to think that the actions Adam Fortney is most notorious for is REFUSING to enforce laws and for prioritizing of the protection of armed illegal militias over the safety of unarmed, peaceful, permitted protestors. But please do wax on some more about all of his “non-partisan” endorsements from “associations”

    2. Fortney endorsed the presence of armed Proud Boys on the rooftops in downtown Snohomish in May of 2020. He steadfastly refused to mask up during the peak of the Covid pandemic. He rehired two officers who had been fired after use of excessive force and a related lawsuit that the County lost. He is a “good ol’ boy” who has had very little ‘boots on the ground” experience compared to Susanna Johnson and is cavalier (at best!) about the concerns of his constituency. He declined to recertify his department. The litany of egregious offenses is long if you listen to anyone but Fortney talk about Fortney. My vote will be for Susanna Johnson – she brings integrity, accountability, and 33 years of boots on the ground experience both in leadership roles and as law enforcement officers.

    3. Police and Sheriffs “Associations” or unions exist to protect the police while opposing police reforms recommended after investigations of wrongdoing by police. The actual police forces are different from the police unions that use their dues to oppose candidates like Susanna Johnson. Please do not be deceived by endorsements by police unions. Former sheriffs in Snohomish County support Susanna Johnson. So do I, and I hope you’ll join me in electing a sheriff who respects and follows the law — a sheriff who can and will help improve the culture of the Office of the Sheriff of Snohomish County.

  4. Thank you Leon Zainwel and Chris Cossu. We are in desperate need of a change in our Snohomish County sheriff role.

  5. Chris – can you provide details on the accusations regarding “the protection of armed illegal militias over the safety of unarmed, peaceful, permitted protestors”?

  6. I will absolutely vote for Adam Fortney. His program for youth is a solid one and shows his concern for our young people. Working with the businesses on 128th is a good step for improvement of safety as well. Elizabeth is correct, the endorsements for Johnson are telling.

  7. Susanna Johnson is an outstanding choice for sheriff. Adam Fortney, in contrast, is a disgrace and has caused great damage to the integrity of the department with his right-wing political extremism. The people of Snohomish County are tired of his antics. Johnson appears headed to a landslide win, thank goodness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.