‘Progressive Experiments Have Failed,’ Says Frustrated County Sheriff in WA

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- On the same day his department was honoring the memory of a deputy gunned down in the line of duty by an armed, convicted felon, another lawman in a department two counties away was allegedly shot and then run over by another convicted felon. Now Pierce County, WA Sheriff Ed Troyer is saying the community is suffering from what he called a “failed experiment.”

One of Troyer’s deputies, Dominique “Dom” Calata, was fatally wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a man wanted on assault charges earlier this month. Within hours of a memorial service for Calata, Police officer Dan Rocha was murdered in an altercation, allegedly with a man who has a long criminal history in Eastern Washington’s Tri-Cities area including multiple felonies.

That suspect, identified as Richard Rotter, is being held on $5 million bail.

Over the weekend, Sheriff Troyer posted this message on Facebook:

“At the end of our service for Dom, we learned Everett Officer Rocha was killed in the line duty. Not just police officers, homicide rates of citizens are skyrocketing. Neither of these cop killing suspects should have been out of jail. Same with the other homicide suspects in the first 3 months of this year. We are all in this together. The liberal, progressive, socialist experiments have failed. Time to stop.”

If there may be an example of the “failed experiment,” it might be Rotter, the suspect in Rocha’s killing. Seattle’s KOMO News reported, “Rotter was the subject of two outstanding warrants, including one for domestic violence assault and a hit-and-run case, both of which were filed in Benton County, according to prosecutors.”

Police in Kennewick, a city in south-central Washington, had issued an officer-safety alert for Rotter.

The Everett Herald reported Rotter was spotted “moving guns from one car to another,” which—as a convicted felon—he should not have been doing. KCPQ News said Rotter “has a lengthy criminal history including at least 18 felonies and hundreds of contacts with Kennewick Police over the years.” Talk radio hosts in Seattle were uniformly wondering how this suspect was even out on the streets with that kind of record.

In an exclusive telephone interview, Troyer suggested the way to start turning this scenario around is to lock up criminals instead of releasing them almost automatically.

But in the Puget Sound region, where Pierce and neighboring King County are located, conservatives argue that liberal policies of entrenched Democrat-majority governments have become a magnet for a criminal element.

Washington state passed both the “Three Strikes” and “Hard Time for Armed Crime” initiatives almost 30 years ago, but without enforcement, those laws cannot accomplish anything. Troyer said property crimes—everything from shoplifting to auto theft—are up, and so are homicides. In 2020, the most recent year for which data is available, the FBI Uniform Crime Report says Washington posted 298 murders, including 177 with firearms. In 2019, the state reported 194 slayings, including 135 involving guns, according to FBI data for that year.

Troyer concurred more people are licensed to carry. Meanwhile, police have been under attack and there are manpower shortages. It’s almost like a “perfect storm” with good and evil on a collision course.

A check with the state Department of Licensing earlier this month showed Pierce County has more than 76,000 active concealed pistol licenses, the second-highest number of any county in the state. In neighboring King County, the number was above 98,000. Snohomish County, encompassing Everett, has more than 68,000.

Washington has had Democrats in the Governor’s office for more than 35 years. Democrats have held the legislative majority for many years. Last year, Democrats rammed through a “police reform” bill that proved so onerous it was rolled back this year because the public is tired of rising crime and their local police being effectively handcuffed.

According to U.S. News. “Rep. Jesse Johnson, the Federal Way Democrat who sponsored House Bill 1310, said restricting the ability of police to detain fleeing suspects was unintentional. The measure signed by Inslee Thursday allows police to do their jobs while also requiring them to use no more force than necessary.”

This begs the question, “How much force is considered necessary when someone is trying to kill you?”

Troyer told AmmoLand his agency is working to address the needs of people who are truly distressed. Under his leadership, the sheriff’s department has created a program pairing deputies with social workers who can deal with mental health and other social issues. He calls this effort the “Alternative Response Team,” and it is showing promise. He has mental health professionals embedded with deputies who can be available to deal with genuine hardship.

At the same time, the veteran lawman observed, “We just can’t let hardcore felons run amok.”

With some chagrin, he noted felons aren’t supposed to have guns, but they get them, and not by buying them from local gun stores.

Troyer said there are 43 vacancies in his department, and that includes people who are on military leave. He estimated one-third of Pierce County’s commissioned deputies are also in the military, a fact he is very proud of. Slain officer Calata was one of those double-duty individuals.

“We’re going to turn the tide,” Troyer said with determination. “We’re going to start holding people accountable. Instead of complaining about what we can’t do, let’s focus on what we can do.”

Troyer said he is working with the County Executive and County Prosecutor to open the jails back up and put people, particularly repeat offenders, behind bars.

One other thing the sheriff mentioned is his steadfast belief that county sheriffs should be elected, rather than appointed.

“You don’t hear city police chiefs talking like this because they’d lose their jobs,” he observed.

In King County in 2020, voters approved a measure to make their sheriff an appointed position. Prior to the 2020 election, the Washington State Sheriff’s Association stated in a letter, “The accountability and responsiveness of an elected Sheriff is critical to public safety in our communities. Sheriffs are, and should remain, directly accountable to the people.”

But in liberal King County—the state’s most populous, and long dominated by Democrats—voters by a 62-38 percent margin, voted the other way.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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It starts with demonratts being in charge and their soft attitude on crime. Let’s put the blame where it belongs. If cops arrest someone and they are out on the street in days their attitude becomes why waste my time. The blame goes to the judges that do not throw the book at them and the system for plea bargain even being part of the equation. If judges locked them up and gave longer stronger sentences, this wouldn’t be a repeat problem. Law enforcement can arrest them as much as they want but it won’t do a dam bit of… Read more »


You’re parroting yourself again, like a hypocrite. Can’t see the beam in your own eye but you’re all over the mote in mine.


Just following your lead. You are the one that parroted in for your favorite sock puppet.


Do you know what a sock puppet is?


When my sock puppet gets crusty I wash it in Hot & then it’s good as new….


Agreed! Thinking back about the DemoKKKrats such as Kamala Harris, the FRAUDULENT vIce pResident who, is said to have, raised funds to “bail these CRIMINALS” out of jails!


I fear what she would try to do if she became president. I have seen female black women that get power working in state agencies that become another person that no one wants to deal with or be around because they are vindictive and mean and love nothing more than abusing their power on men, especially white men. You can’t do anything or say anything because if you do, you are racist. It requires their own color to take action against them to get rid of them and most of them wont because they don’t want a white person to… Read more »


The troubles start long before it gets in front of a judge. These problems stem from policy decisions, and sentencing guidelines made by city and county councils and the DA’s that answer to them, although they’re elected by the people(yeah, that’s working well). They’re the ones who determine what is or what isn’t a crime anymore, what will be prosecuted and what won’t. For instance…police here can no longer give chase to someone who commits a crime and speeds away in a car at dangerous speeds. Guess how criminals are leaving the crime scenes? This is one instance among thousands… Read more »


Kommiefornia has the same laws about people out running police and getting away because the speed of the pursuit gets to dangerous for the public. Add that you can steal 900 bucks and get it for free and not have to worry it’s no wonder that crime is so high.

Stupid is as stupid does and these law makers are stupid and out of control.


and the dumb-asses that enact these laws retire to Florida, where everyone has a gun legal or not and they complain about the police and traffic cams


Thanks Dave, this article lays the situation out very succinctly. However, perhaps it’s time for everyone who pens an article about the revolving door justice name the names of the judges who routinely let these bastards free, then maybe the robed tyrants my fear repercussions from the citizens for their actions?


The “Solution, you ask.” In the 17th and 18th centuries in this country, it was Tar and Feathers that kept judges in line!

Wild Bill

The big time criminals have taken over the government, and are letting the petty criminals go free as a diversion.


Prison should be reserved for other crimes, involuntary manslaughter, or aggravated assault, not murder




Correct. The biblicaly prescribedpunishment for murder is death. Once we did away with that equation, the resultant sum has gotten worse and worse.


The best way to deter criminals is through aggressive Law enforcement. The minimum force necessary when someone is trying to kill you is to create Hydraulic Failure in their system through creating many or massive leaks!

Henry Bowman

That or enforce the laws of gravity against all criminals & communists…


Perhaps because I am in my 9th decade I have an active Texas CHL and carry all the time. I hope never to have to resort to use of my weapon(s), but I cannot rule out that possibility, especially now in the days where the honest citizen is the suspect and the villain is the noble hero. An old saying that I believe applies to our present pro-criminal madness is, “The greatest inducement to committing a crime is the belief that one will not be caught and, if caught, that one will not be punished”. I hope this national trend… Read more »

Wild Bill

Good job. I drink to your health, sir!


Meanwhile the tyrants occupying the Marble Zoo in Olympia are pretending they are “fixing the problem” by making criminals out of any of us who happen to have firearms that come with magazines that hold more than ten rounds. As f making us less able to defend ourselves (normal tax funded law enforcement certainly can’t do the job with their hands tied behind their backs) will reduce crime and lawlessness. Overpaid shills, that’s what they are.
Some counties have great sheriffs. Those are ALL elected.


Welcome to NY. Almost.
All you need now is an “assault weapon” ban.
Keep electing them and, don’t worry, you’ll get there.
Unless the Supremes save us . . . been waiting almost a decade though.

Henry Bowman

The commies in the cities are dictating to those who live in “flyover country” how it’s going to be; and that was never the intent of the founders. Time to fix the ‘loophole’ by restoring liberty and removing the enemies of liberty in the one way that has been proven effective over many decades… Ask Professor Hoppe.


“We just can’t let hardcore felons run amok.”
Well, that depends.
Do you want an “equitable” outcome?
(After DiBlasio destroyed NYC . . . they elected ANOTHER DEMOCRAT to replace him . . . so don’t get your hopes up for change.)


Mr. Workman, Another great article you wrote and very factual. Sheriff Troyer is correct in saying about those who need to be held responsible for the failed policies of the progressive left. It’s not only the progressive pols who need to be held accountable, itis also those who initially propose these ideas and present them to elected officials. I live in Blue NJ, and I’m pro 2A and support gun rights . Apparently these progressives either ignore or fail to recognize their policies are failures, gun control one of them and there are other failures too. Illegal immigration at the… Read more »


their immigration policy is doing what it is designed to ,increasing poverty


It was always my belief if a felon got caught with a gun and was engauged in another crime it added 8 years onto his sentence and the years to serve went up from there. Soft courts serve nobody also kill a cop should be a automatic death sentence.


There are openings for new hires in many police departments across the country. When the criminal has more rights then the citizens and the police , justice can no longer be served. Residents keep voting the same way with the same outcome for 35 years.Sanctuary cities a progressive movement that soon will in danger the very folks who supported their elected leaders for this dangerous ideology. “The urban crisis—poverty and inequality, un—and under-employment, inadequate and unaffordable housing and public transportation, pollution and climate disasters—is the result of the failure of the neoliberal agenda to produce adequate funds and capacities to… Read more »


Stronger and full sentence with stiffer penalty is the answer. Death to those that kill is a great start. I don’t know why cop killers survive today. Back in the day they always managed to fall, hit their head on the curb and die and no one gave a shit or they were shot by a cop defending themselves which was an approved result especially by tax payers. What happened to the good old days.


Police violence should not be condoned. That’s kind of the point of the recent social movement, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Wild Bill

And if the accused engages in violence, then what should the police do, in your opinion?


I don’t call police killing a killer that just shot a cop violence. I call it cleaning up our streets, saving lives, saving tax dollars and good old justice in keeping the peace. The latest social movement has been for undo or unnecessary violence to the bad guys like holding your knee on his neck for a long time when unnecessary when you could have put your knee in his back or putting him in a choke hold just long enough to get him cuffed and not holding it until he passes out and then accidentally dies. Both instances were… Read more »


May I suggest an edit to your statement? Unnecessary and unjustified violence by anyone should not be condoned. Despite efforts to separate police from the rest of us, they are regular citizens with the same right to self-defense as the rest of us. Only differences are: (1) that presumably they are selected for ability (size, strength, etc.) for hands on (2) they are trained and equipped for full spectrum of use of force (3) they are required to respond proportionally due to their capacity for lower level force. That last expectation applies to all of us, however law recognizes that… Read more »


Gee, I am happy to live in a sanctuary state. Just wish we could get some teeth in our 2A-protection instead having mostly symbolic sanctuary status.


Name one period in planetary twistory where Communism/Socialism/Fabian Socialism/Collectivism has ever succeeded in any thriving society or championed the people’s human rights ? Crickets chirping infinitum. The only metric where liberalism/progressivism/Bohemianism/Fabian socialism ideology ever succeeded was the extermination genocides of masses of human beings. Human right atrocities always follow liberal/progressive governments & ideologies. Communism is by force, socialism is by ignorance. Zionism is a internal Revolution from within by the Elites who install their ponerological criminal corrupt puppets. Periods in twistory like we are living are by design not coincidence. The problems for the controllers in this epoch will be… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Tank

The main problem is the masses of asses who gobble up propaganda. A clear example was a letter in my local birdcage liner last week. A brain dead woman suggested that the government should disarm the American people and send all our guns to the Ukraine. These are the kind of idiots who we deal with! And, they breed and multiply!

Wild Bill

And vote, too!


Yes 100% agree. No doubt about it the generational intelligence & imaginary fantasy world of created by ZioWood & predictable programming of American Unicorn Rainbows & Sad Panda’s has polluted American minds to where critical thinking skillsets are void & null. Sociocultural attitudes were being prepped & corrupted long ago to capture the low lying fruit & Barking Moon Bats / Karen’s / Pity Party Dolts / Micheal Moore mindset as useful idiots et alia etc. Humans were known long ago to be easily programmable dumbed down & addicted to TV, “Dream Factory” Movies, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, Sex, drugs, greed/avarice,… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Tank

if WE were all disarmed (fat chance, being realistic) we’d be sitting ducks for tyrants like True Dough to walk on in from up north and take over wiht HIS brand of tyranny.



I was hoping I’d read more details about these so-called “experiments.” I keep reading about hands being tied, but there is little direct evidence. It seems it amounts to just ad hominem attacks against those of us who lean left. A shameless attempt to link democrats to cop killers. More of the same from the extremists on the right.

Wild Bill

Unworthy of Comment.


Says he, with tongue in cheek.


The experiment is letting criminals on the street early because of whatever BS reason demokkkrats come up with in addition to not charging them with the maximum penalty allowed and now we are even making excuses and new laws for gang bangers doing mass drive by shootings for less penalty in the state of Washington making the problem worse. That is part of the experiment. The other part was having law enforcement take care of all business and disarming the people, neither of which has worked out. As far as a shameless attempt to link demoncraps to cop killers it… Read more »

Rob J


These are jut a few of the policies tying hands of officers. COVID restrictions are handcuffed then even more, allowing property crimes to soar, being unable to engage in pursuit of fleeing criminals not immediately engaged in “serious bodily threat” activity, etc.

A simple Google search will give you multitudes of links our legislature passed in knee jerk response to 2019 riots, CHAZ, and overall “reform” of policing.

Thankfully Inslee is rolling a few back… https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2022-03-17/washington-gov-inslee-signs-rollback-of-police-reform-bill

Last edited 9 months ago by Rob J

Inslee cannot be thanked for anything until he rolls back a few more others, that he is responsible for signing, including the one that goes into effect this July 1.

Henry Bowman

On behalf of the Ammoland community, let me invite you to an all-expenses paid aerial tour of the Chilean coast.