The citizens of King County want many things from their Sheriff’s Office.  They want a police agency that understands you can’t arrest your way out of every problem in society.

They want a Sheriff’s Office that listens to the citizens it serves. Our work as law enforcement must include the community. I have hosted and attended countless community meetings to hear the issues that matter most to the residents of King County.  As a result, I have received public feedback and input in the broader discussion of law enforcement. Additionally, I am working to change the culture in the Sheriff’s Office. I want my deputies out of their patrol cars so that they are interacting personally with the community.

King County residents expect a Sheriff’s Office that respects and reflects the diversity of the community it serves. King County is especially diverse, with many different ethnicities, races, and gender identities. The Sheriff’s Office cannot succeed in its mission until it is a mirror of the community.  Though I am prohibited from using affirmative action in hiring for the department, I try to encourage diversity in the hiring process. If you speak a second language or have been in the Peace Corps for two years, you receive an extra ten percent on the civil service test. These qualifications encourage new and needed perspectives in the department and were implemented at my urging.

Most of all, the people of King County want a Sheriff’s Office that is accountable. Since taking office in 2012, I have held my deputies accountable to the high standards King County residents demand. As part of these higher standards, I have fired over 20 deputies for misconduct. I do not take these decisions to terminate lightly, but no one has the “right” to be law enforcement. Several of these offenses were egregious abuses of power, including dishonesty, theft, prostitution, and pepper spraying a homeless man’s water bottle. This behavior is unbecoming of the badge and cannot be tolerated. We serve the public and must have their confidence. In my time as Sheriff, I have worked to rebuild and maintain the trust of residents of King County. This work must continue in my next four years as Sheriff.

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