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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4 Responses to “King County Sheriff Sue Rahr’s message about reorganization”

  1. I have lived in White Center for almost 5 years. When I moved here with my husband and toddler, we were warmly welcomed by most on our block. Our neighbors were “neighborly” and we helped each other out.
    Over the last 18 months we have watched our neighborhood become something we are no longer proud of, and have stopped defending.
    Our street is lined with litter, all that can be “tagged” has been and people keep to themselves now. Our house has been robbed twice in the last 5 months, both times in broad day light. Our front window, feet from where my now 6 year old sleeps at night, has been shot out and smashed with rocks in the last 4 months.
    I have attempted a neighborhood watch and found little interest. At this point, we are looking to move out of White Center and will not likely be visiting any time soon. I hope at the very least, anyone who reads this will be a little more vigilant and a little more “neighborly” from now on.

  2. Dick Thurnau Says:

    Litter and trash thrown on our streets, roads and highways is shameful. A neighbor placed a garbage can next to the street for a place for this trash.What happened the garbage can was covered with Graffiti. The culprits shooting of fireworks than leaving their mess for somebody else to clean up is inexcusable. Reporting these concerning problems is a low priority, resolving them should be the # 1 priority

  3. Neighborhoods everyone get littered with fireworks, this seems to reflect how people raise their children (or I should say lack of raising). It’s not just in the WC area. As far as this being the #priority, lots more police would be needed to accomplish that job. Right now people are having wait times, cases are piling up and police are already overworked (proactive police work went away years ago)with things that are more important than littering. Maybe the KC Adminstrators (serg., capt., majors etc.) could help out on the 4th next year as extra police presence.

  4. I too live in White Center, just a block from roxbury. We are trying to start a block watch. One couple showed up for the first meeting. It was disappointing to say the least.

    However, since we cannot afford to move we are going to continue to try. Hence on Aug 3rd we will be having a Night Out block party (15th and Cambridge). Maybe then we can entice some neighbors from their homes and get to know each other.

    Frankly I’m tired of shoo-ing away the homeless, the drug users, and the general run of the mill gangsta wannabe’s from around our house/block. But what choice is there? The police simply say call back if they show up again. (even if it is when they ‘show up again’ circular argument here)

    Pretty embarrassing to have people over for a BBQ and you see these things happening right there in the open…