Undersheriff John Nowels has been with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for over 22 years. He was promoted to Undersheriff on December 1, 2019, and oversees the Investigative and Intelligence Division.
Undersheriff Nowels graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1996 with a BA in Criminal Justice. He graduated with his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership through the University of Oklahoma in 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, the Washington State Children’s Justice Task Force, the Partners With Families and Children Board, and the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Board.
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.