Experts Urge Overhaul Of Sheriff’s Office In Seattle


A panel examining problems within the King County, Wa., Sheriff’s Office has adopting a report that cites a need for more supervisors, increased training, the creation of an internal auditing bureau, and establishment of an independent oversight office among ways to improve the department, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “People might disagree what’s in there, but nobody can say it’s a superficial report,” said former County Executive Randy Revelle, chairman of the Sheriff’s Blue Ribbon Panel. “It’s very thorough.” The 10-member panel cited 43 “findings,” or problems, within the Sheriff’s Office’s disciplinary, supervision, and management systems.

Two outside experts — the independent civilian police auditors for the cities of Denver and San Jose, Ca. — are reviewing the panel’s report. Some recommendations won’t come cheaply — adding 10 more sergeants may cost $350,000 a year; and creating an Inspectional Services bureau could cost about $367,000 in its first year alone; other recommendations can be implemented right away at little or no extra cost. The panel of politicians, legal and criminal justice experts, and others was named in February by county officials in response to the Post-Intelligencer’s ongoing special report, “Conduct Unbecoming,” which has detailed deputy misconduct and disciplinary shortfalls.


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