King County Council members call for sheriff’s office reforms

September 8, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 8, 2012

King County Council members Bob Ferguson and Julia Patterson introduced legislation Sept. 3 to address a recent King County Sheriff’s Office performance audit.

The audit examined the sheriff’s office’s Internal Investigations Unit and the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight. The legislation calls for the sheriff to demonstrate and document actions being taken to address significant shortcomings in internal investigation operations.

“This legislation is all about transparency and accountability,” Ferguson — Government Accountability, Oversight and Financial Performance Committee chairman — said in a statement. “Establishing a plan with deadlines and deliverables makes it clear that we expect to see progress and reforms in how citizen complaints and misconduct cases are handled.”

The audit report highlighted deficiencies in the sheriff’s office’s internal investigations operations and accountability system. The audit made 16 recommendations for improving the effectiveness of investigations and law enforcement oversight.

“Even though Sheriff Strachan has committed to resolving the issues outlined in July’s audit, the legislative branch has an obligation to ensure that the commitments are carried out in a timely and transparent manner,” Patterson said in a statement. “The legislation introduced today will do just that.”

The sheriff’s office concurred with the audit recommendations and Sheriff Steve Strachan presented a plan for addressing the recommendations made in the audit.

The legislation introduced by Ferguson and Patterson builds on the sheriff’s plan and adopts a performance audit action plan to track the sheriff’s office’s implementation of the audit recommendations.

The action plan calls for the sheriff and the director of the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight to provide specific outcomes related to implementation of the audit recommendations.

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2 Responses to “King County Council members call for sheriff’s office reforms”

  1. Ron Roberts on September 9th, 2012 12:51 pm

    This is good news. Glad to see that Sheriff Strachan is also recommending changes, and agrees with the county council on them. What’s really nice is that he isn’t making this a talking-point campaign issue, and is simply getting the reform work done. It’s too bad that his opponent is using a decades-old problem to use for political purposes.

  2. lawrence on September 10th, 2012 5:05 pm

    Strachan is being a puppet. He is way out of his league and keeps saying he agrees with all that is wrong but has done nothing. I think his opponent has a big mouth but will put his words into action. Rahr is the one that should resign. She is in charge of the training of cops in the entire state and she demonstrated incompetence as a Sheriff. Time to go Susie.

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