Issaquah councilwoman joins colleagues to back chief deputy for sheriff post

March 23, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. March 23, 2012

Outgoing King County Sheriff Sue Rahr’s handpicked successor received support from King County Council members Thursday, as the council prepares to appoint the next sheriff.

Steve Strachan

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairwoman and the Issaquah representative — joined Councilman Bob Ferguson and Councilwoman Julia Patterson to introduce legislation to name Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as interim sheriff after Rahr resigns March 31.

“I look forward to welcoming Chief Deputy Strachan as King County’s interim sheriff next month,” Lambert said in a statement. “I am particularly interested in the strategic plan he has developed for coordinating the many regional as well as local law enforcement and investigative functions of the sheriff’s office. I also look forward to increased collaboration with our 12 contract cities as we provide them with the best possible service.”

Rahr plans to step down as the top law enforcement officer in King County on March 31 after a long career in local law enforcement to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief and a former police chief and state legislator in Minnesota, joined the King County Sheriff’s Office as chief deputy in January 2011. Before announcing plans to resign, Rahr met each council member and endorsed Strachan for the interim post.

Under the King County Charter, the council is responsible for appointing a sheriff until the vacancy is filled during the next general election in November. Observers expect Strachan to run for the post.

“During this transition, it is important to have a sheriff who is an effective operational leader and has established positive working relationships within the county,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I have worked closely with Chief Deputy Strachan on issues such as combating gang violence, services for the mentally ill in our criminal justice system, and implementing civilian oversight of the sheriff’s office. He will serve the residents of King County well.”

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