King County Auditor's Office
Auditor's Office News
Auditor Launches New Tool Spotlighting Systemic Law Enforcement Issues
The King County Auditor’s Office has launched a new website that spotlights five systemic issues that have come up in law enforcement audits over the last decade. Beyond providing greater transparency overall, the site will help inform King County decision makers and the public as the County nears the transition to an appointed Sheriff. The Auditor’s Office has conducted 11 audits of the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) in the past decade, issuing over 90 recommendations.
Throughout this work, the Auditor’s Office observed trends and themes that consistently arose as challenges and grouped them into five systemic issue areas:
- Administration and data quality
- Collective bargaining
- Contract partners
On the new website, visitors can see quickly which issues arose in which audits with an easy-to-read crosswalk highlighting and color-coding the different issues. Drop-down summaries of each issue area allow visitors to read more about how they arose across different audits and what remains to be done, with links to specific examples in various past audits.
The site includes brief summaries of the 11 audits that note which issues came up. Site visitors can also find links to each audit and recent follow-ups.
View the full site here: https://bit.ly/KCSOSystemicIssues
Sexual Assault Investigations Audit Gets National Recognition
We are very proud to report that our work on sex offense investigations and case outcomes was identified as one of the best local audits of 2020 by a group of our local government audit peers. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice estimated that a sex assault occurs every 43 seconds in the United States and we found that reports of sex offenses in King County increased by 27 percent between 2015 and mid-2018. Brooke Leary, Luc Poon, Mia Neidhardt, and Anu Sidhu planned and executed a complex, audit that identified ways that various county actors could respond more effectively to this crisis and ensure that victims are being connected with important resources and support in a timely manner. Meg Sykes deserves special acknowledgement for her work on report design and graphics.
Implementation of our recommendations will help ensure all victims who report sex offense crimes are connected to important victim services, wait times for case resolution are reduced for victims, and criminal justice agencies will develop plans to mitigate potential racial inequities in case outcomes. The impact of this audit has reached beyond our local jurisdiction. The report has been praised by sexual assault victim advocacy leaders and has helped inform Washington State efforts to bring similar transparency and accountability to law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorneys, and the courts across the state. We also provided input to help inform a similar case review effort by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. You can read the report or watch our presentation here.
Work in Progress
Upcoming briefings and publications
View King County Council's agendas, minutes, and videos
Audits and oversight in progress
The 2021-2022 work program outlines work to be initiated in this biennium. The following projects are underway. Some audit work is slowing and/or scopes are shifting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Pandemic Preparedness Planning
- Protection Orders
- Cyber-Incident Response
- Bus Accident Protection
- Voluntary Separation Program
- Assessor Exemption Programs
- Sheriff Transition Information Project
- Alternatives to Incarceration
- Sheriff Calls for Service Analysis
- Sheriff Traffic Stop Analysis
- Equity Initiative Implementation
- Transit Capital Audit