Rob Nou, Lopez deputy, enters race for sheriff; retired as police chief in Burns, Ore. | County Sheriff

Rob Nou ... former Burns, Ore. police chief, now San Juan County sheriff
Rob Nou ... former Burns, Ore. police chief, now San Juan County sheriff's deputy, is running for sheriff.
— image credit: Rob Nou

Sheriff’s Deputy Rob Nou of Lopez Island announced his candidacy for San Juan County sheriff over the weekend.

He is the third candidate to emerge — all from the Sheriff’s Department — since Sheriff Bill Cumming announced he was retiring after six terms.

Other candidates so far: Lead Detective Brent Johnson, who is also chairman of the county Veterans Advisory Committee and co-coordinator of the Firewise program; and Deputy Felix Menjivar, who is also a Friday Harbor Town Council member.

The primary election is Aug. 17, the general election is Nov. 2. The top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election.

Candidates will begin mailing in their formal candidacy documents Friday; in-person filing is June 7-11.

Nou retired in 2008 as chief of police of Burns, Ore. He lives on Lopez Island where he is a deputy sheriff, a volunteer firefighter and EMT, and a member of the Lopez Island Prevention Coalition. He has worked with Lopez School on safety projects.

“As Sheriff Bill retires after six terms as your sheriff, San Juan County faces an important decision in choosing its next sheriff,” Nou said in a press release.

“I believe that I possess the necessary education, experience, training and leadership to fill those shoes.”

Nou said he has 28 years of law enforcement experience, including 20 years in management.

“In that time I have worked a variety of assignments providing me with a broad range of experience as a deputy, detective, sergeant, and chief of police. I am a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the world-renowned program for law enforcement executives.”

As sheriff, his goal will be to work collaboratively with the islands’ communities to “solve problems and preserve the island way of life.”

He added, “It is my intention to work in partnership with our schools to ensure a safe and secure learning environment. I believe that public safety agencies should work seamlessly together to maximize effective use of assets and resources in working towards common goals.”

Nou graduated from Oregon College of Education with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences in 1981. He has two sons, Chris, 23, and Danny, 20, who live in Oregon.

14 positions on ballot
Islanders will vote on 14 legislative and local positions this year: County assessor, auditor, clerk, prosecutor, sheriff, treasurer; County Council District 2, District 5, and District 6; District Court judge, Superior Court judge; U.S. House of Representatives 2nd District, 40th District state House Position 1, and 40th District state House Position 2.

The current sheriff earns $97,514 a year. He manages a staff of 36 full-time employees and a budget of $2.3 million, which includes: $719,219, dispatch; $472,888, Enhanced E-911; $398,920, jail; and $209,615, Emergency Management.

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