There’s a New Sheriff in King County, and His Name is Steve Strachan


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On Monday (April 2), the King County Council appointed Steve Strachan as the new King County Sheriff, succeeding Sue Rahr, who left March 31 to become director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission in Burien (read our interview with her here).

Strachan, who was Rahr’s Chief Deputy, became interim Sheriff when Rahr left the position on March 31 Under the King County Charter, the Council is responsible for appointing a new Sheriff until the vacancy has been filled at the next general election in November. The Council fulfilled that responsibility Monday by appointing Strachan.

“With over 25 years of law enforcement and public service experience, Chief Deputy Strachan is well-equipped to lead the men and women of our Sheriff’s Office while meeting the needs our communities, particularly confronting the issue of youth and gang violence,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson, prime sponsor of the motion.

Strachan became Chief Deputy of the King County Sheriff’s Office in 2011 after serving five years as Kent’s Police Chief. He previously was Chief of Police in Lakeville, Minnesota, where he had been an Administrative Sergeant, Detective, School Resources Officer, SWAT team leader, DARE Officer, and Patrol Officer. He also worked as a Jail Deputy for the Sheriff’s Office in Carver County, Minnesota.

Here are some quotes from other councilmembers:

“Steve Strachan is the clear choice to succeed Sue Rahr as Sheriff. He has the experience, leadership, and knowledge of the Sheriff’s Office needed to hit the ground running and protect public safety for King County residents,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, who co-sponsored the appointment legislation. “I am pleased that the Council has agreed and acted quickly to preserve continuity and a clear chain of command.”

“Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity to work with Chief Strachan, and I am impressed with his experience, depth of knowledge, and dedication to the mission of the Sheriff’s Office,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, chair of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “I look forward to continuing to work with him in this new role on efforts such as expanding e-policing to engage more citizens in crime prevention using technology, as well as continuing our collaboration with our contract cities.”

“I am pleased to hear our newly appointed Sheriff Steve Strachan prioritize the four principles of an effective, respectful, accountable, and transparent Sheriff’s Office,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “With those principles and with his commitment to support meaningful independent oversight through the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, Sheriff Strachan will be starting off on the right foot with the people of King County.”

““In a time of shifting expectations and limited resources for public safety, Mr. Strachan has the vision and knowledge to lead the Sheriff’s Office successfully,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “I look forward to working him on the issues facing the Eastside and the upcoming budget process.”

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