Record file — Chief Criminal Deputy Rick Felici is running for Island County Sheriff in the November 2018 election.

Record file — Chief Criminal Deputy Rick Felici is running for Island County Sheriff in the November 2018 election.

Felici running for Island County Sheriff in November 2018 election

The second-in-command at the Island County Sheriff’s Office wants to wear the sheriff’s badge next year.

Chief Criminal Deputy Rick Felici threw his hat in the ring and is running for the elected position in November. Sheriff Mark Brown doesn’t plan to seek reelection and is retiring at the end of the year.

Felici said his philosophy of law enforcement is that there is not one solution to a problem, but that law enforcement must work together with community partners.

Among the biggest challenges facing law enforcement, he said, are drug abuse, homelessness and mental health problems; often the issues are interrelated.

“My platform is that we can make better use of resources we have by combining the tools in the Island County tool box,” he said. “We can’t arrest our way out of every problem.”

An example of this, he said, is the county’s opioid outreach program in which a deputy from the sheriff’s office goes out in the community with a public health nurse and an opioid outreach advocate.

Such a program, he said, offers police a different perspective on the issues they face while building positive relationships with people who may normally be wary of cops. It also fosters relationships between different departments, he said.

Brown said he supports Felici as his replacement.

“He is very honest, has a lot of integrity and a lot of history with the agency,” he said. “He’s very respected among his peers.”

According to Brown, Felici has a good understanding of how the county works and the importance of having a good relationship with the commissioners, who control the budget for the sheriff’s office.

Island County Chief Criminal Prosecutor Eric Ohme said he’s worked closely with Felici for many years and found that he is always thorough and fair.

“He has always shown that he cares deeply for his community and the individual persons who live in Island County,” he said. “Since Rick’s move into management at the Sheriff’s Office, he has shown himself to be a focused and effective problem solver.”

Felici has a wide range of experience in law enforcement. When he was in the Navy, he spent four years in security at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and was also a reserve officer for the Oak Harbor Police Department.

He steadily moved up the ranks in his 24-year career at the Island County Sheriff’s Office and worked on both Whidbey and Camano islands. He started out as a patrol deputy, then moved on to detective, detective sergeant and finally became chief criminal deputy in 2015.

In his current position, Felici is responsible for developing budget proposals and manages employees in patrol, investigations and the animal control divisions. He is a graduate of the FBI Command College and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Legacy Leadership program.

Felici is running as a Republican but believes the position should be nonpartisan.

Felici said he doesn’t have any political aspirations beyond becoming sheriff.

“I want to look back on my career and see that I accomplished something,” he said, “and made positive change.”

More in News

The city of Langley plans to replace well-loved playground equipment at Generation Park with a new structure that includes glide slides, spiral climber, horizontal loop ladder, spin cup, toddler swing and more. (Photo provided)
Generation Park slated for new playground equipment

Glide slides, spiral climber, loop ladder, spin cup and more swinging in soon

Dogs still get to run free by the sea in Langley

Seawall Park exempted from new leash law

Cooking up lessons in Langley’s Learning Labs

Youth, adults take classes in revamped home ec and shop classrooms

Geri Forbes’ four-year tenure marked by change, controversy and construction

Bottom line got healthier than took a turn for the worse

Port renames, rebrands Langley fair property to attract events

One of the oldest venues on South Whidbey has a new name… Continue reading

Port of South Whidbey commissioners Jack Ng, left, Curt Gordon and Ed Halloran review a list of grant application requests before announcing their decision at a meeting.
Port announces annual grants for tourism development

Eight organizations get piece of $30,000 pie

Port looking to fill commissioner vacancy

Port of Coupeville commissioners are deciding how to fill a to-be vacant… Continue reading

David Felice photo
                                Island County Emergency Management Director Eric Brooks talks about the importance of disaster readiness Saturday at St. Hubert’s Church in Langley. Several agencies presented an informal demonstration and discussion of how to be ready for emergencies.
Be prepared, emergency manager says

When Eric Brooks thinks about his work, he asks himself “How big… Continue reading

Langley calls for street dance artists

The Langley Main Street Association is accepting submissions from bands and artists… Continue reading

Most Read