King County Sheriff

Law enforcement
4:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Are Former Peace Corps Volunteers Willing to Carry a Gun and a Badge?

A Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador.
Peace Corps

The King County sheriff wants to make his police force more culturally aware. So he’s come up with a plan that includes putting former Peace Corps volunteers on the payroll.

Sheriff John Urquhart says the force is “becoming more male and more white every single year," and that's a problem because the force should better reflect the increasingly diverse community.

"And that means we need all colors, we need all races, we need all genders, and we need LGBT, you name it,” Urquhart said.

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2012 Elections
5:00 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Both candidates for King County Sheriff pledge to reform department

In King County, both men vying to be sheriff say they'll reform a department found to do a poor job of investigating police misconduct complaints.

But neither Steve Strachan nor John Urquhart are what you'd call outside reformers. 

(To hear the entire story, click the Listen button above.)

Police misconduct
4:29 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Audit says oversight of King County sheriff's deputies is lax

King County council members expressed frustration at the lack of progress in making the Sheriff’s office more accountable.
Kyle Fox KPLU

The King County Sheriff’s Department does a poor job of investigating police misconduct complaints. That’s the conclusion of an outside audit of the department. This comes five years after the county pledged to implement improvements in the troubled law enforcement agency.

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law enforcement
5:08 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Officer, do you need a nap? Police overtime questioned

Should police be giving time to take power naps?
Tom Flickr

Is a community at risk when cops don’t get enough sleep? Washington State University researcher Bryan Vila says it is. In a briefing before the King County Council, he said there are hazards associated with overworked officers.

He says lack of sleep affects your ability to think clearly and problem solve and do other things law enforcement needs to be skilled at, such as:

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Crime
3:13 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Improved fingerprinting system catches more criminals

Officials in King County say the adoption of a more advanced Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) a year ago has led to additional crimes being solved.

The regional AFIS is paid for through a property tax levy.  It costs the average homeowner in King County about $20 a year.

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Law enforcement
10:12 am
Tue April 26, 2011

Teaching police talk tactics

Seattle Asst. Police Chief Mike Sanford, King Co. Sheriff Sue Rahr and Joe Hawe, Exec. Dir. Wa. State Criminal Justice Training Commission announce plans to teach cops better communication skills.
Paula Wissel/KPLU

Police in Seattle and King County will soon be trained in the importance of talking.  They’ll learn to treat people with respect as a way of diffusing tense situations.  Law enforcement officials hope the new approach helps build trust with the community.

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Law & Justice
11:05 am
Tue January 25, 2011

King County to pay $10 million in case of mistaken identity

This surveillance video outside the Cinerama Theatre in downtown Seattle captures the moment Christopher Harris was slammed into a theater wall by a deputy working for Metro Transit last May.
MJDArv YouTube.com

King County has agreed to pay $10 million to a man who suffered a catastrophic brain injury when a sheriff's deputy slammed him into a concrete wall after a chase in Seattle.

Christopher Harris ran from deputies who mistook him for a suspect in a fight on in May 2009. After a couple of blocks, Harris stopped, and a deputy knocked him 8 feet into a concrete wall, head first.

Harris eventually emerged from a coma but can't walk or talk. The 30-year-old is expected to need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

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Police Brutality Charges
9:19 am
Fri January 21, 2011

Testimony describes King County deputy bashing man's head against concrete wall

Grainy surveillance video captures the moment a King County Sheriff's deputy, working with Metro Transit police, knocks Christopher Harris against an outside wall of the Cinerama Theater in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood in May 2009.
MJDArv via YouTube.com

A jury trial has begun in Tacoma, detailing another case of alleged police brutality in Seattle.

The lawsuit was filed against King County by the wife and a court-appointed guardian of 31-year-old Christopher Sean Harris, who a deputy shoved against a concrete wall a year and a half ago outside the Cinerama movie theater in Belltown. A surveillance camera outside the movie theater captured footage of the incident.

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News Roundup
5:57 am
Fri December 17, 2010

Friday morning's headlines

The fight is on over proposed ferry-service cuts in Gov. Gregoire's budget plan. At a Bremerton meeting last night, lawmakers said they'll oppose reductions to mid-day service.
AP Photo

King County deputies' pay-cut plan rejected, a car injures pedestrians at the Pike Place Market, the fight over proposed ferry service cuts heats up, and a popular Seattle language school closes.

Exec Says King County Deputies' Pay Plan Won't Fly

Dow Constantine says a union-offered plan to save taxpayers money would actually cost them more. 

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King County Budget
11:23 am
Tue December 7, 2010

King County deputies vote on cutting pay

As King County makes massive cuts to help balance its budget, the union representing King County sheriff’s deputies has, for months, refused to consider a wage freeze next year.  Even as other unions in the county have agreed to do so.  But deputies are voting on a proposal to reduce their upcoming pay increase. 

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News Roundup
6:01 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Monday morning's headlines

King County Sheriff Sue Rahr's force is about to be reduced by dozens of deputies. The county council is voting on a budget plan today that will cut $60 million, and along with public safety and public health jobs.
AP

King County To Cut 300 Jobs


The budget ax falls today in King County.  The coucil will vote on a plan that eliminates  about 300 jobs, including dozens from law enforcement and the prosector's office. 

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