Sheriff candidate picks up council members’ support

March 27, 2012

Outgoing King County Sheriff Sue Rahr’s handpicked successor received support from King County Council members March 22, 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.

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King County Council praises outgoing sheriff for years of service

March 27, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. March 27, 2012

King County Council members lauded outgoing Sheriff Sue Rahr on Monday as the longtime law enforcement officer plans to step down from the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Rahr is due to depart the agency March 31, after a long career at the sheriff’s office and a seven-year stint as the top law enforcement officer in the county, to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. The organization trains all law enforcement officers in Washington, except for Washington State Patrol troopers.

“We take this opportunity to salute Sheriff Rahr for her decades of service to King County and her role as the first woman to lead the sheriff’s office,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairwoman and the Issaquah representative — said in a statement. “Her emphasis on crime prevention, community policing and implementing technology tools has left a legacy of partnerships that will continue to serve the public well.”

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Issaquah councilwoman joins colleagues to back chief deputy for sheriff post

March 23, 2012

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.”

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King County Sheriff Sue Rahr resigns for state training post

March 20, 2012

Sue Rahr

The lethal shootout between rival gangs at Lake Sammamish State Park on a summer night in 2010 offered lessons to King County Sheriff Sue Rahr as law enforcement officers encountered a rise in gang activity in unexpected places.

“What we learned there is that gangs definitely were moving out of the city and, basically, staking out certain places where they felt that they could socialize uninhibited and pretty much do whatever they wanted,” she said in a March 15 interview.

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.

The sheriff led the King County Sheriff’s Office as budgets dwindled, crimes turned more sophisticated and concerns about gang violence lingered — a problem illustrated by the state park shootings.

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King County Sheriff Sue Rahr to resign March 31

March 14, 2012

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.”

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County Council confirms law enforcement oversight chief

September 27, 2011

County Council members appointed a former Los Angeles police investigator as King County’s inaugural law enforcement oversight chief Sept. 26.

In a unanimous decision, the council confirmed Charles Gaither as director of the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, a county agency established to monitor the King County Sheriff’s Office’s complaint and investigation process.

“Today’s appointment of Mr. Gaither is a major milestone toward realizing the important reform of implementing civilian oversight of the sheriff’s office,” Councilman Bob Ferguson — Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairman and sponsor of the appointment — said in a statement. “Mr. Gaither’s extensive experience will be invaluable to increasing transparency in the complaint process and further building public trust between law enforcement and the community.”

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King County leaders commit $1.4 million to combat gangs

September 13, 2011

Lake Sammamish State Park shootout influences decision

King County leaders bolstered efforts to combat street gangs late last month and directed $1.4 million from a law-enforcement emergency fund to confront a rise in gang violence.

The funds aid prosecutors, sheriff’s deputies and community organizations in anti-gang efforts. The county intends to add three deputy prosecutors and a paralegal focused solely on gang-related cases. Plans call for the King County Sheriff’s Office to receive additional equipment and training.

Dow Constantine

Kathy Lambert

County Council members created the law-enforcement emergency fund last year to address unforeseen criminal justice needs.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative, joined County Executive Dow Constantine, Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and other leaders Aug. 30 to announce the initiative. The council agreed to fund the initiative a week later.

“We want King County to be a family-friendly and gang-unfriendly area,” she said after the announcement. “We’re taking this very seriously. We’re not putting up with it.”

Lambert said the gang-related shootout at Lake Sammamish State Park in July 2010 also influenced the decision to confront gang violence. The lethal gun battle left a 33-year-old Kent man and a 30-year-old Seattle man dead.

“It used to be that gangs had a neighborhood that they lived in and now they go all over the place,” she said.

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Law chiefs encourage people to report suspicious packages

September 3, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 3, 2011

Local law enforcement leaders called on residents to report suspicious packages to police as the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches.

King County Sheriff Sue Rahr, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste acted after a recent article in USA Today said such calls overwhelm law enforcement agencies. The officials fear the information could discourage people from reporting suspicious packages to the authorities.

“We are not overwhelmed, and we still want those calls,” Diaz said in a statement. “Our mantra remains ‘If you see something, say something.’”

The local officials reminded residents to call 911 if they see a suspicious package — and not to touch the possible threat.

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Leaders announce $1.4 million effort to combat gang violence

August 31, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 31, 2011

King County leaders bolstered efforts to combat street gangs Monday and directed $1.4 million from a law-enforcement emergency fund to confront a rise in gang violence.

Kathy Lambert

Kathy Lambert

The funds aid prosecutors, sheriff’s deputies and community organizations in anti-gang efforts. The county intends to add three deputy prosecutors and a paralegal focused solely on gang-related cases. Plans call for the King County Sheriff’s Office to receive additional equipment and training.

County Council members created the law-enforcement emergency fund last year to address unforeseen criminal justice needs.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative, joined County Executive Dow Constantine, Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and other leaders Monday to announce the initiative.

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County life vest requirement ‘is working’ on local rivers

August 9, 2011

Early this summer, the King County Council moved to require life vests be worn by anyone swimming, floating or boating on major rivers in unincorporated areas of the county.

First-time violators are to receive a warning. A second violation could earn you an $86 fine.

“It’s like, don’t they have something better to worry about?” asked Trisha Catwell, 22, as she and her friends went about packing up their canoes and various other gear after having spent what they said was about four hours on the Raging River.

The group was loading up in the parking area above the river on Redmond-Fall City Road near 338th Place Southeast, a popular spot for reaching the river.

As Catwell’s group talked about which ice chest belonged to who and who had brought the yellow bottle of sunscreen, there was not a life vest or floatation device in sight.

Catwell said she had heard of the new rule, but added others among her group of five or six friends didn’t believe her and weren’t concerned in any case.

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