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King County Sheriff to hire 14 more deputies
King County Sheriff Steve Strachan announced today that he will hire 14 more deputies in the coming months to increase public safety for King County residents.
The deputies will be added using current resources from the existing budget, Strachan said. The sheriff was joined by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Councilmembers Joe McDermott and Kathy Lambert in the announcement.
Strachan cites good budget management by his patrol operations command staff and sergeants, who have helped keep overtime costs down. As a result, funds from current vacancies are being used for the new hires, he said.
"The key to our reform agenda is to engage employees in a process of continual improvement," Constantine said. "I appreciate Sheriff Strachan and his staff – from patrol officers to command staff – for piloting a lean project that cut the use of overtime, helped fill vacancies and put more police on the street."
Strachan added: "In the past we have had to maintain a large number of unfilled vacancies in order to save money for unforeseen events and to balance our budget. Because of the good work of our people at the front lines responsible for managing day to day budgets, we can fill some of those vacancies and put more cops on the street."
The hiring plan is to add four deputies now, five in November and five in January, Strachan said.
"I commend our sheriff for managing resources to hire these deputies and keeping public safety in our unincorporated neighborhoods as a priority," said Lambert, chair of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. "These deputies will be deployed in the field, patrolling the large unincorporated areas and providing an increased presence of law enforcement that deters criminal activity in addition to responding to crime reports."