Captain John Nowels has been with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for over 17 years. As Division Commander for Investigations he is charged with the overall supervision of the Major Crimes, Sexual Assault, Property Crimes, Drug Crimes, and Forensic Units. He is also the commander of the multi-jurisdictional Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force as well as supervises Lieutenants, Sergeants, and Detectives assigned to work crimes such as homicide, burglary, assault, robbery, rape, kidnapping, and narcotics trafficking.
Captain Nowels graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1996 with a BA in Criminal Justice. He began his law enforcement career in the Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division in 1998. He served as a patrol deputy until 2001, when he joined the Traffic Unit. As a member of the traffic unit, Captain Nowels became a Technical Collision Investigator, investigating fatality and serious injury collisions. In 2004, he promoted to the rank of Detective and was assigned to the Spokane Valley Property Crimes Unit. In 2005, he was assigned to the Investigative Support Unit to investigate narcotics cases.
In 2008, Captain Nowels was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the Spokane Valley Property Crimes Unit. While there, he assisted the agency in developing an Intelligence Led Policing program. He also served as a Sergeant of the Unincorporated Property Crimes Unit, and a patrol platoon Sergeant.
In 2013, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and assigned as the Lt. Commander of the Property Crimes and Narcotics Enforcement Units. Additionally, he was appointed the Commander of the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force which is now, the Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force, a unit comprised of members from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Police Department, Washington State Patrol, FBI, DEA, Border Patrol, Washington State Department of Corrections, and Washington National Guard Counterdrug Program.
He was appointed to the rank of Captain of the Investigative Division in 2015 and is responsible for the supervision of 65 commissioned and non-commissioned employees.