A highly critical report of the King County Sheriff’s Office needs the full attention of the County Council and that should come Monday, Sept. 17, when legislation introduced by councilmembers Bob Ferguson and Julia Patterson will be considered by the full council.
The report, by a nationally recognized organization that works to strengthen police oversight, lists 25 specific things the Sheriff’s Office relating to use of force, misconduct policies and oversight.
The Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC) of Los Angeles was asked to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the policies and oversight procedures for uses of force, deputy-involved shootings, personnel misconduct investigations, and other high risk areas. The recommendations are eye-opening.
Among them are:
n Changing use of force policies;
n Creating a new Use of Force Review Board;
n Making changes to the membership and practices of internal review boards;
n New policies, procedures, and practices for investigating misconduct and deputy-involved shootings; and
n Emphasizing alternatives to lethal uses of force.
To its credit, the Sheriff’s Office fully cooperated in the PARC report. However, while we believe the majority of Sheriff deputies serve with distinction, civilians must have oversight of the Sheriff’s Office.
The County Council needs to give this its full attention.
– Craig Groshart, Issaquah & Sammamish Reporter