King County Sheriff Sue Rahr’s message about reorganization
Given the recent changes in King County Sheriff’s Office matters regarding White Center, in case you’re not on the mailing list, we thought you’d be interested in this e-mail message from Sheriff Sue Rahr today:
Last month I talked about some of the ways we have been working to address and respond to the challenges of defining and sustaining a 21st century law enforcement organization. Because 85% of my budget is dedicated to labor cost, I have few discretionary resources and leeway.
But the challenges presented by the changing population, economic structure and new social expectations around technology, also present opportunities. Cumulatively, these changes provide me with some latitude in maximizing the 15% of my budget that I do control.
Annexations, contract city growth, and growing transportation needs have redistributed the population we serve as well as the way it moves. As a result, we are operating in a new geographic environment. On the policing side, the old Block Watch model is being reinvigorated and is reemerging as an outgrowth of new, electronic social networks. Now, once-small groups of neighbors are emerging as large, wired and connected organizations, such as the Greater Redmond Ridge Community Watch, who are proactively participating in each other’s lives and mutual safety.
These trends are driving a new reality with opportunities to change how we are operationally organized and physically distributed to best serve the citizens of King County. We simply need to be closer, more visible, accessible, and more responsive to our citizens.
Given these issues and the current economic situation, I have initiated an internal reorganization to first address how we are positioned for delivering our police services to you. We have reconfigured our 3 major precincts down to two primary and more efficient east and west operations. This will consolidate our largest unincorporated operations and concentrate a broader array of local and regional police services.
I am currently working with Executive Constantine to also look at our physical presence throughout King County. My goal is to find long term, cost effective, and mutually beneficial ways to increase our presence and visibility through our contract city relationships. We need more deputies who provide a variety of increasingly specialized skills closer to the people who need us. We are also examining ways to consolidate a variety of critical and interrelated regional operations such as Criminal Investigations, Property Management (evidence), AFIS, and Special Operations, into a centralized and logistically optimal campus-type location.
These ideas take time, vision, and hard work. But there is no better time than the current economic crisis to be constantly asking ourselves how, when and where can we do our job better and more cost effectively.
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