Update: Deputy Hancock’s letter, in advance of NHUAC meeting tonight

When the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets tonight, as reported earlier, two high-ranking King County Sheriff’s Office leaders are scheduled to appear, and the topic of “who’s responsible for White Center?” is certain to come up. Deputy Jeff Hancock‘s impending departure was first reported here last week, but now there’s a new development – his open letter to the “citizens of White Center,” shared by Village Green Nursery’s Vera Johnson, who is Block Watch captain in her area and concerned about the situation. The letter:

To: The citizens of White Center

As of 06-24-10 I have submitted a request for transfer from the White Center Storefront to Pct#4 Patrol. This request for transfer was made voluntarily by me for several reasons.

As many of you know I have five children, and one on the way. The oldest is eight so it can get pretty hectic at home. My wife is truly amazing. She is a stay at home mom and home schools the two older boys. My job as the store front deputy has demanded much of my time over the years. My wife and kids would argue that on many occasions too much. The schedule for the storefront deputy is definitely not one conducive to family life. It is a 4-10 schedule (four ten hour days), which after my commute turns into a 4-13 schedule. Not to mention, this past year I have been working the Byrne grant gang overtime on Tuesdays and Saturday nights making my average week a 55 to 60 hour work week. It has taken its toll on my family life. With my wife being pregnant, as well as just recently being diagnosed with a serious medical illness, I need to spend more time at home. Along with this is the fact that I will receive a 3-4% pay increase by leaving the storefront and returning to patrol. With all of my kids and my wife’s illness this extra money will really help.

I thank all of you for your support over the years. Many of you have asked me to stay in the store front and have hinted that you intend on petitioning the command staff to achieve that end. I assure you that the decision is mine and has already been made. I apologize for the lack of timely information in regards to my leaving the storefront, and any confusion it has caused. I want all of you to know that the Sheriff’s Office, from the Sheriff on down to every deputy on the street, wants what’s best for White Center. I have grown to really love and care for this community.

Having said that, it would be very troubling for me to know that my leaving somehow, or in any way, has weakened the bond the community of White Center has with the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office on top of just serving White Center is part of the White Center Family. Unlike any other community I have worked in, White Center and the Sheriff’s Office have a unique bond. We are family. Now is the time to strengthen that bond.
I have been honored to work here and please know that you will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

Deputy Hancock

Tonight’s NHUAC meeting is at the usual place and time – 7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ.

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