As of Monday, August 6, 2018
Hiring deputies is the immediate priority, according to Robert Udell, who is in a four-way race for Yakima County Sheriff.
“We are competing with literally every law enforcement agency in the state for candidates, so we have been recruiting state-wide: A first for our agency,” Udell said in interview with the Daily Sun News.
“We also continue to explore ways to make the hiring process smoother and quicker,” he said.
Udell has been a member of the Sheriff’s office staff since 1990. He has risen to the position of chief criminal deputy.
Udell decided to run for sheriff only because his boss, Sheriff Brian Winter decided not to run.
“When the empty positions are filled, the focus will be on the budget and increasing our deputy numbers,” Udell said.
Udell is a Valley man, born here in 1961. His father was part of a fruit-growing family on Naches Heights,
“I grew up in the apple orchards, and that meant one big thing: I never had to look for a job,”Udell said. I was driving tractors by age 7, and moving irrigation water at 5 a.m.
After high school, Udell attended Washington State University, and lived in a fraternity, and underwent culture shock.
“Classes bigger than my high school,” he said. He graduated with a degree in Horticulture and returned to the orchards.
“I worked with my father for seven years. I managed our operation, and learned much about budgeting and employees,” he said.
Our budget is thin, so we will work to bring training to us and train with other agencies as much as possible. That all leads back to effectiveness and efficiency.