VINE – Victim Information & Notification Everyday
A program designed to track and be notified of the custody status of offenders
To search for offenders in jail and register for notifications on custody updates, select the VINE link above or on the left menu.
County service offers added protection for crime victims, public Kings County residents now have fast access to custody information on offenders throughout Kings County. An automated service citizens can access, 24-hours-a-day either by telephone or the Internet, VINE is available in English and Spanish.
People calling 1(800) 491-0689 are asked to provide an offender’s name or booking number. After the system has provided the relevant custody information, it asks the caller if they would like to register to be automatically notified when the offender is released or transferred. All registrations are confidential. Those choosing to register provide a phone number, and a four-digit personal identification number (PIN), which they will later use to confirm they received a notification call that an offender was released or transferred.
Live operator assistance is available round-the-clock for callers who have questions or require additional help. Citizens can also go on line at www.vinelink.com to locate and register.
VINE is a nationwide service used in more than 40 states. Some of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, D.C., are also involved in this program.
The concept of Community Oriented Policing is not just something printed on a letterhead. It is a concept we adopt as a policing philosophy. Community Policing is not just a temporary "program" but a way of doing day to day business...read more.
The Kings County Sheriff's Department prides itself on remembering those who have gone before us...
Kings County Sheriff's Office Management Organizational Chart
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Wanted: A King County sheriff to create a guardian force
As King County Executive Dow Constantine begins searching for a new sheriff, he should keep in mind the recent report concerning the 2019 officer-involved shooting death of Anthony “Tony” Chilcott.
The new hire represents a new start — the county’s first appointed sheriff in more than two decades. The County Council created a 13-member Public Safety Advisory Committee to gather community input for the sheriff selection process. The committee is also charged with drafting a report to guide the appointment. As part of these discussions, the committee will engage stakeholders to examine how law enforcement could be improved across the county.
King County residents approved this change last year to bring greater accountability to the department. The Office of Law Enforcement Oversight’s scathing report into the Chilcott shooting shows why that accountability is so desperately needed, and offers insight into what kind of sheriff the county needs.
If the two King County Sheriff’s Office detectives who shot the Black Diamond man were trying to protect civilians from potential harm, they could have done that without escalating the situation. They could have stayed with bystanders or removed them from the area. Instead, the detective who was driving rammed into Chilcott’s truck with his own vehicle and held a gun to the man’s head. In the chaotic moments that followed, both detectives shot Chilcott, ending his life.
The detectives themselves are responsible for their egregious violation of community trust and department policy. Yet, the sheriff’s responsibility is to ensure a culture in which such dangerous and aberrant behavior is unthinkable.
A decade ago, then-Sheriff Sue Rahr emphasized the concept of law enforcement officers as guardians of their communities — not warriors at odds with the people they serve. That’s why it is striking that among the 23 recommendations in OLEO’s review of the 2019 officer-involved shooting, presented last month to the Metropolitan King County Council’s Law and Justice Committee, was direction to clarify prohibitions against using force based on a fear of potential danger rather than in response to an imminent threat.
“While we do know that one of the detectives was terminated as a result of this incident, there was really no formal messaging from KCSO leadership to its members emphasizing the prohibition of speculation as a sufficient basis to use force,” OLEO Senior Policy Analyst Katy Kirschner told members of the committee.
“We do know that KCSO agrees that speculation (and) generalized fear is not a sufficient basis to use force, but the internal messaging and expectation-setting within KCSO has not been consistent.”
That’s unacceptable. The sheriff should set crystal clear expectations. Messaging starts at the top.
In her response, outgoing Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht laid all responsibility at the feet of the fired detective who went on the offensive in violation of department standards, unnecessarily escalating the situation that lead to Chilcott’s death.
“Our members train in de-escalation techniques, and practice them almost daily,” she wrote. “KCSO’s expectation is that our commissioned personnel will use time, distance and cover whenever possible to slow down a situation and (effect) a positive outcome that avoids the use of force. That did not happen here.”
She fired that detective, George Alvarez, earlier this year.
But that’s not enough. The sheriff bears ultimate responsibility for her department. It’s up to the sheriff to make sure good policies stick.
Elected in 2017, Johanknecht’s tenure has been marked with controversy. Her term expires at year end.
Candidates seeking to replace her should have proven records of setting clear and inviolable expectations for officers as guardians. Executive Constantine must select, and the county council must confirm, the candidate who can set this new direction for the department.
The Seattle Times editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Luis Carrasco, Alex Fryer, Jennifer Hemmingsen, Mark Higgins, Derrick Nunnally and William K. Blethen (emeritus).
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King County Sheriff's Office
King County Sheriff's Office
Officer George W. Poor
King County Sheriff's Office, WA
EOW: Sunday, July 26, 1891
Cause: Gunfire (Inadvertent)
King County Sheriff's Office, WA
EOW: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Cause: Struck by vehicle
Total Line of Duty Deaths: 17
- Aircraft accident 2
- Gunfire 10
- Gunfire (Inadvertent) 1
- Heart attack 1
- Motorcycle crash 2
- Stabbed 1
- January 1
- February 1
- March 3
- April 1
- May 1
- June 2
- July 5
- September 1
- November 1
- December 1
K9 Line of Duty Deaths: 1
King County Sheriff's Office
|King County Sheriff's Office|
|Motto||Every Call Counts|
|Annual budget||$138.5 million (2011 Adopted Budget)|
|Operations jurisdiction||King County, Washington, U.S.|
|Governing body||King County Council|
|Headquarters||King County Courthouse (Downtown Seattle)|
|Precincts||Yes (4 including HQ)|
|Helicopters||6 ( 1 Bell 206B3,2 Bell UH-1H "Huey", one is a UH-1H "Plus",1 Bell 407, 2 TH-67 training helicopters)|
|The KCSO provides policing for unincorporated areas of King County, 12 contracting cities|
The King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) is a local police agency in King County, Washington, United States. It is the primary law enforcement agency for all unincorporated areas of King County, as well as 12 cities and two transit agencies which contract their police services to the KCSO. KCSO also provides police and fire Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting to the King County International Airport (Boeing Field). KCSO also provides regional-level support services to other local law enforcement agencies such as air support and search and rescue. The department has over 1,000 employees and serves 2.1 million citizens, over 500,000 of whom live in either unincorporated areas or the 12 contract cities.
The current Sheriff of King County is Mitzi Johanknecht, a former major within the department. Johanknecht was elected in November 2017 and was sworn in on December 28, 2017.
This section needs expansion with: relevant historical data. You can help by adding to it. (August 2013)
The first King County Sheriff was elected in 1852. The office was renamed the King County Department of Public Safety after voters approved a charter change in 1968, and the director would be appointed. In the 1980s, the name of the department was again changed, this time to the King County Police Department. In 1996, voters decided to reinstate voting for the sheriff and the name was changed back to the King County Sheriff’s Office. In 2020, voters decided to return to an appointed sheriff and to allow the King County Council to change the duties of the sheriff.
Major Mitzi Johanknecht defeated incumbent John Urquhart in the 2017 King County sheriff election.
Sheriffs since 1981
- Barney Winckoski, 1981-1983 
- Jim Nickle (acting sheriff), 1983 
- Vernon Thomas, 1983-1987 
- Jim Nickle (acting sheriff), 1987-1988 
- James Montgomery, 1988-1997
- Dave Reichert, 1997-2004
- Sue Rahr, 2005-2012
- Steve Strachan, 2012 
- John Urquhart, 2012-2018
- Mitzi Johanknecht, incumbent since 2018
- Office of the Sheriff - includes the Sheriff, Undersheriff, chief of staff, aides, a media relations officer, labor negotiator, the Internal Investigations Unit, and the Legal Unit.
- Field Operations Division - manages the core functions of patrol, precinct-based detectives, crime prevention, storefronts, and reserve deputies. The subdivision into four precincts allows for better community-based responses because the precinct commanders can use local data to direct law enforcement services. Day-to-day management of contract city police and school resource officers, are the responsibility of this division.
- Special Operations Division - provides support services to other divisions, regional services to local agencies, and contract police service to the King County Metro Transit Division (including Sound Transit Police), King County Department of Transportation (Motor Unit (disbanded 10/1/12)), and the King County International Airport ARFF Police. Services provided by this division include: a K-9 unit with search and drug detection capabilities; Air Support (Guardian One); Marine Unit; Bomb Squad; tactical training in firearms, less-lethal weapons, and defensive tactics; Tac-30 (SWAT); hostage negotiations; dignitary protection; tow coordination and appeal hearings; Search & Rescue; D.M.T. (Demonstration Management Team); instruction in and equipment for Haz-Mat; and special event planning and coordination. The division has also taken the lead in planning for homeland security concerns.
- Criminal Investigations Division (CID) - includes the Major Crimes Section, the Special Investigations Section, and the King County Regional Criminal Intelligence Group. The division serves citizens with follow-up investigative, warrant, and intelligence-gathering services. Specifically, it investigates crimes including homicide, domestic violence, computer fraud, forgery, sexual assault, and more. CID also addresses child support enforcement issues.
- Technical Services Division - provides the bulk of support services that are vital to efficient operations. Often, the employees in this division provide direct services to citizens as well as support services to the other divisions. Services provided by the division personnel include emergency 9-1-1 call receiving and dispatching, managing court security (County Marshals), technology development, records, contracting, civil process, personnel/hiring, payroll, purchasing, training, photography, application and administration of grants, planning, and all aspects of fingerprint identification.
King County, WA Contract City Patches
The following cities contract their police departments to KCSO:
Most of the contracts within the Sheriff's Office have their own patch and patrol car design and wear a King County Sheriff badge, while other contracts have no identity other than the King County Sheriff uniform, patch and patrol car. Those contracts that don't have their own identity are Beaux Arts Village, Skykomish, Muckleshoot Tribe (although they used to wear a tribal patch) and King County Metro Transit. King County Metro Transit Police, a unit of the sheriff's office, do have their own style of patrol car specific to Metro Police, and their own uniform with the standard King County Sheriff patch. The city of North Bend contracted with the KCSO from 1973 until March 8, 2014 when the City of Snoqualmie Police Department took over the policing duties in North Bend, at that time the North Bend contract was KCSO longest standing contract.
The KCSO Motor Unit existed under contract with the King County Department of Transportation: Roads Division, which in turn provided funding for S.T.E.P (the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program) which targeted select arterials within unincorporated King County based on a history of accidents, chronic traffic problems, and high citizen complaints. The KCSO Motors Unit wore the standard KCSO patch and Class A uniform and rode Honda KCSO marked police motorcycles. The Motor Unit participated in traffic enforcement, instructor certifications, dignitary protection and escort, parades and special events, educational and school activities as well as extensive motorcycle training. This unit was disbanded October 1, 2012.
- Contract city chiefs wear three stars when in their contract uniform and one star when in a KCSO uniform.
Law Enforcement Exploring Program
The King County Sheriff's Office has a volunteer program for individuals between the ages of 14 and 21 who are interested in investigating a career in the field of law enforcement. The program is called the King County Sheriff Explorers and is a local post of the Learning for Life Exploring program. The explorer post has a rank structure similar to the Sheriff's Office. The explorers attend academies and competitions, ride-along with deputies on patrol, and receive training on a variety of law enforcement topics.
There are four Explorer posts in cities contracted with the King County Sheriff's Office, those being an unincorporated post in Woodinville, as well as city posts in Maple Valley, Burien, and Sammamish.
In February 2012, Dustin Theoharis was shot sixteen times by a sheriff's deputy and a Department of Corrections officer as he lay in his bed. The officers were attempting to search the home for another man when they saw Theoharis move and they opened fire. Officers responding to the shooting allegedly failed to gather evidence, moved items at the crime scene and acted as advocates for the shooters. An internal investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of the officers. The officers involved refused to cooperate with the investigation. The state settled a lawsuit for $2.5 Million. The county agreed to pay $3 million to settle the matter. Sheriff John Urquhart pointed out to the press that he was not responsible for this incident as he had not yet been elected. In 2017 Detective Richard Rowe in plain clothes approached a motorcyclist from behind with his gun drawn without identifying himself as a law enforcement officer for a full minute. He also reached into the motocyclist's pocket to pull out his wallet so that an observer might think an armed robbery was in progress. The department later settled the case with a $65,000 payment to the victim.
- ^King County Sheriff - What We Do
- ^"King County sheriff to be appointed not elected under approved measure". king5.com. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
- ^Miletich, Steve (November 9, 2017). "Mitzi Johanknecht unseats John Urquhart as King County sheriff". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
- ^Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen, The Search For The Green River Killer (New York: Onyx, 1991),159
- ^Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen, The Search For The Green River Killer (New York: Onyx, 1991),418
- ^Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen, The Search For The Green River Killer (New York: Onyx, 1991),421
- ^Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen, The Search For The Green River Killer (New York: Onyx, 1991),429
- ^Metro Transit Police, King County, Washington, retrieved July 7, 2013
- ^"King County Sheriff's motorcycle unit to be eliminated (Seattle Times blog)", The Seattle Times, September 6, 2012
- ^Shot 16 times by officers: Innocent man files $20M suit, by John Hopperstad, July 10, 2013, Q13 Fox News
- ^Innocent Man Shot 16 Times While in His Bed, by Tim Lynch, July 11, 2013, QFox13.com
County sheriff king
.King County Sheriff Awards Ceremony 2020
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