Undersheriff John Nowels has been with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for over 21 years. He was promoted to Undersheriff on December 1, 2019, and oversees the Business Operations, Communications, and Training functions of the Sheriff’s Office.
Undersheriff Nowels graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1996 with a BA in Criminal Justice. He is scheduled to complete his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership through the University of Oklahoma in December of 2019. Undersheriff Nowels also attended and graduated from the 265th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in September 2016. While at the FBI National Academy he completed Master’s level leadership courses from the University of Virginia. Undersheriff Nowels currently holds positions on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Spokane County Behavioral Health Advisory Board, and the Washington State Children’s Justice Task Force.
Undersheriff Nowels 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, Undersheriff Nowels became a Technical Collision Investigator, investigating fatality and serious injury collisions. In 2004, he promoted to the rank of Detective and worked in the Spokane Valley Property Crimes Unit. In 2005, he was assigned to the Investigative Support Unit to investigate narcotics cases.
In 2008, Undersheriff Nowels promoted to the rank of Sergeant and since then has held every promotional position in the Sheriff's Office to include Undersheriff. During this time, he has worked with and supervised personnel in every division of the Sheriff’s Office, with significant time spent serving in the Investigative Division as a Lieutenant, Chief Criminal Deputy, and Inspector.