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Jan. 16, 2022

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Longtime Franklin County sheriff dies

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Wallace W. Bradley, a longtime Franklin County sheriff who served with the department for almost 20 years, died Thanksgiving Day in Pasco. He was 91.

Bradley joined the sheriff’s office in 1965. Just six years later, in 1971, Bradley made undersheriff and set his sights on elected office.

A Democrat, Bradley first pursued a job as county commissioner in 1976. He lost to another Democrat, Jim Rogers, in the primary.

Shortly after that, he left the sheriff’s office to run the Hanford security force of the Washington Public Power Supply System.

That lasted not quite a year — he blamed WPPSS bureaucracy — before he decided to run for Franklin County sheriff in 1978.

His opponent was the man who made him undersheriff — Democrat Dick Boyles.

According to Herald archives, Bradley said Boyles was an absentee sheriff and had strained relations with other law enforcement agencies, “especially the Pasco Police Department.”

Bradley won that term, pledging to repair relations and assign more deputies to the rural northern reaches of the county.

He also credited his ability to deal with the public to his almost 20-year-long career in the grocery business, which he said was the best training he could have for dealing with the public as a deputy.

Bradley later was elected to a second four-year term, but in 1986, he ultimately decided against re-election and resigned.

The sheriff had suffered a heart attack in January of that year, and he didn’t want to suffer a second one while in office.

“I’m sorry I had to do it, but I felt I should,” Bradley said at the time. “There’s no reason to continue when you’re so susceptible to other heart attacks. And they say once you’ve had one, you’re more susceptible. And this is a highly stressful job.”

He was the last Democrat elected sheriff in the county. His successor, Republican Richard Lathim, served as sheriff for 28 years before losing to Jim Raymond, also a Republican.

Wallace “Wally” Bradley was born in Hewins, Kan., and had lived in Pasco since 1946. He was a veteran and a member of the Loyal Order of Moose.

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