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Councilmembers on Rahr resignation: “A legacy of service to the people of King County”


Council will be responsible for appointment of replacement


Members of the Metropolitan King County Council said today that a commitment to public service that stretches over three decades is Sheriff Sue Rahr’s greatest legacy as she gets ready to leave the King County Sheriff’s Office.

“The residents of King County are lucky to have Sheriff Rahr’s service for over three decades,” said Larry Gossett, Chair of the King County Council. “Her tireless commitment to serving the people is evident in the innovative programs she championed during her tenure both as a deputy and the Sheriff of King County. I know I speak for everyone in King County when I say the County’s loss is the State’s gain, because I am confident that she will bring the same commitment to the public in her new position as the director of the state’s Criminal Justice Training Commission.”

“Thanks to the leadership of Sheriff Rahr, King County has been innovative and made great progress in crime prevention and community policing,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, chair of the Council’s Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “She shepherded the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force through review and implementation and served with a legacy of integrity. Her leadership will serve the state training center well.”

“Sherriff Rahr has been an outstanding leader for our community and I commend her for her 32 years of service to the people of King County,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “She is leaving behind some very big shoes to fill. I wish her the best as she enters the next phase of her stellar career.”

Rahr has announced that her last day as Sheriff will be March 31. On April 1, Rahr will become director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. Rahr has appointed Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as the interim Sheriff.

The Council appointed Rahr Sheriff in 2005. In her three decades in the Sheriff’s Office Chief Rahr was an undercover narcotics officer and commander of the Internal Investigations, Special Investigations and Gang Units.

Rahr served as Shoreline’s Chief of Police from 1998 until 2000 when she was named Chief of the Sheriff Department’s Field Operations Division. Rahr worked to develop the Sexual Assault Prevention program for elementary school children and parents, prevent underage drinking and driving through the sheriff’s office Party Patrol Program and implement training in the use of less-than lethal weapons for county deputies.

During her tenure as Sheriff, Rahr worked to acquire federal grants to assist the department in the purchasing of helicopters. She also embraced technology, establishing the department’s e-policing program and expanding the use of two-way electronic communication between the Sheriff’s Office and the public.

The King County Sheriff is a non-partisan elective position. State law and the King County Charter require that the Council fill any vacancy in this office. The person appointed by the Council will serve as Sheriff until a successor is elected at the November 2012 general election.

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