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Meet Derek

Meet Derek

Derek Sanders has served our community for six years as a Deputy Sheriff with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to that he was a Community Service Officer with the Lacey Police Department. During this time he has built priceless relationships with members of the community and those who serve alongside him.

As a child, Sanders along with his mom and sister fled their abusive stepfather and the daily domestic violence he was creating in their home. It was safer for them to be homeless than face daily abuse. This put them between domestic violence shelters, hotels, and living in a van donated by a local church. Like many local families, when they didn’t know what to do, they turned to law enforcement for resources.

As a child he remembers being selected to participate in the “Shop with a Cop” Christmas program enabling him to be paired with a law enforcement officer to do Christmas shopping for himself and his family. That positive experience with law enforcement would forever change his life and ignite his passion for giving back to his community.

This partnership with a compassionate police officer set a profound example of community engagement and service. Programs like this that engage with members of the community in need changed Derek’s life. Nine years later, he found himself on the other side, paying it forward by participating in the same program as an employee with Lacey Police Department.

As a survivor of domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, a person of color, and most importantly – an almost lifelong resident of Thurston County, Derek understands the issues facing our community. Our residents deserve a Sheriff who is transparent, accountable, and ready to face the issues of 21st century policing and community building.

Derek is running to restore trust, rebuild employee morale, and fight for increased public safety. Derek believes we have the opportunity to improve peoples’ lives by delivering high quality service while being effective stewards for taxpayers and residents. Thurston County deserves better than we’ve been getting. Derek is committed to delivering results for you.


Elected Officials

  • Debbie Sullivan Tumwater Mayor
  • Michael Althauser Tumwater Mayor Pro-Tem
  • Peter Agabi Tumwater City Councilmember
  • Joan Cathey Tumwater City Councilmember
  • Leatta Dahlhoff Tumwater City Councilmember
  • Angela Jefferson Tumwater City Councilmember
  • Charlie Schneider Tumwater City Councilmember
  • Eileen Swarthout Tumwater City Councilmember


  • Olympia Indivisible
  • Teamsters Joint Council 28
  • Tumwater Firefighter IAFF Local 2409

Law Enforcement Leaders

  • Dave Pearsall Retired TCSO Chief, Thurston County Fire District 13 Commissioner
  • Mike Petrie Retired TCSO Chief