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Dunn: Cuts to King County sheriff will make rural, urban areas unsafe

(King County Sheriff's Office)

As a result of the election, King County will be the only county in Washington that will have an appointed sheriff. Voters in the other 38 counties elect the sheriff. One of the people sounding the alarm on this change is King County councilmember Reagan Dunn.

Dunn joined the Dori Monson Show on KIRO Radio to discuss a statement he issued saying that “draconian cuts” are coming to the King County Sheriff’s Office, and that it will put suburban and rural people in King County at much greater risk.

“Well, King County just decided here today to follow suit with what has happened in downtown Seattle, where 118 officers have been pushed out, fired, terminated, whatever — left the force. And what we’re seeing, of course, down there is literally near record homicides, dramatic increase in shootings. You all saw CHOP where the police chief actually had to resign because she couldn’t capitulate to what the downtown Seattle politicians were doing,” Dunn said.

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“Seattle’s going in the very same direction, and there’s just been huge cuts to the sheriff’s budget that will pull another 40 law enforcement officers off the streets this year alone in King County,” he added.

Dunn says the cuts are being hidden, in a sense, but that they will continue, and will leave a police force unable to handle crime.

“The devil’s in the details when you look at the budget. So they’re doing an immediate number of cuts, and then what they’ll do is they hide cuts by putting them into the contract cities and adding sheriff deputies to the contract cities because they’re being paid for by the contract cities, but those people aren’t policing the rest of King County, and then they don’t allow vacancies to be filled,” he said.

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“And so our turnover is around 40 to 60 officers per year. So year one, we’re going to lose 40. We’ll lose even more in year two. Add that to the near 120 — I think, 118 officers — in Seattle and you’re starting to get a police force all throughout King County that is just not prepared for the type of crime we’re going to continue seeing.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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