King County Sheriff Sue Rahr to resign March 31

March 14, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 3:35 p.m. March 14, 2012

Sheriff Sue Rahr plans to step down as the top law enforcement officer in King County on March 31 to join the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Sue Rahr

The outgoing sheriff designated the No. 2 official at the King County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy Steve Strachan, to serve as interim sheriff after she resigns.

“I made the decision to leave the sheriff’s office before the end of my term for a number of reasons,” she said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. “First, and foremost, I have complete confidence in Chief Deputy Steve Strachan and the rest of the command staff to effectively lead the sheriff’s office and continue to protect and serve the citizens of King County. I would not and could not leave this post without that confidence.”

Rahr had been expected to resign since accepting the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission post in late February. The organization trains all law enforcement officers in Washington, except for Washington State Patrol troopers.

“I have gained valuable knowledge and experience in my 32 continuous years in law enforcement,” she said. “I have learned a great deal about the heart and spirit of service, compassion, fairness, and leadership in my role as sheriff. These years of experience have prepared me to continue to serve both the citizens of Washington state — and my brothers and sisters in law enforcement.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief and a former state legislator in Minnesota, is due to lead the until the King County Council confirms a successor. Strachan has served as chief deputy since January 2011.

“I have met with each council member and expressed my strong support for Chief Deputy Strachan to take the helm of this large, complex organization,” Rahr said.

In 2004, Rahr’s predecessor, Dave Reichert, tapped the veteran deputy and former Shoreline police chief as the next sheriff. King County voters later elected Rahr to the post by a landslide in 2005. In 2009, she faced no opposition for re-election. (Reichert left after winning the 8th Congressional District seat, and continues to represent Issaquah and the area in the U.S. House of Representatives.)

“It is not an easy decision to step away from the uniform, badge, and people who have been such an important part of my life for the past 32 years,” Rahr said. “It has been my honor to serve the citizens of King County as sheriff and to work with the extraordinarily talented and dedicated law enforcement professionals in the sheriff’s office and throughout King County and Washington state.”

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