TACOMA -- Longtime Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor will not retire in April as planned because of the coronavirus crisis.
"The COVID-19 epidemic has brought tremendous challenges and costs to our nation, to Washington State, and to Pierce County. These challenges and costs will require all of us in this agency to step up and do all that we can to resist and reverse the damage," Pastor said in a prepared statement.
"Essential services provided by local law enforcement in general and Pierce Co Sheriff’s Dept. in particular will need to help lead this effort. In the face of these circumstances I have decided to withdraw my announcement of retirement for the foreseeable future."
Pastor was appointed in 2001 - before it was an elected position - and is the longest-serving sheriff in the county's history. He won his first sheriff's election in 2008.
He was set to leave several months before his current term ends in December.
As of Monday afternoon, there were 352 COVID-19 cases and six deaths in Pierce County. Statewide, there were 4,896 cases and at least 195 deaths as of Monday afternoon.