King County adds additional sheriff patrols to downtown campus following courthouse incident

Apr 19, 2022, 12:54 PM | Updated: Apr 22, 2022, 5:55 am
King County Courthouse from City Hall (flickr creative commons)...
King County Courthouse from City Hall (flickr creative commons)
(flickr creative commons)

As more county employees return to in-person work, King County is expanding security services to its downtown campus, which borders 3rd Avenue, Yesler Way, James Street, and Sixth Avenue and encompasses the courthouse, adult detention center, and city hall.

The county will add additional sheriff deputy patrols between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as increase the presence of non-uniformed security personnel in that area.

The King County Courthouse was the scene of recent vandalism: earlier in April, an individual wielding a golf club smashed out the windows of the courthouse, which the county estimates will cost tens of thousands of dollars in repair.

Golf club-wielding vandal smashes King County Courthouse windows

In July, police arrested a suspect in connection with an assault inside a King County Courthouse bathroom. That incident prompted county employees to demonstrate for safer working conditions. The county now employs a safety program known as “walking bus,” whereby security personnel will escort workers to and from the campus.

In August, the city cleared a homeless encampment at City Hall Park, prompting its indefinite closure until the park is transferred to King County.

The King County Council has passed legislation that would transfer City Hall Park to the county from the City of Seattle; the legislation in question is currently under consideration with the Seattle City Council, last heard in committee earlier in April.

The added security to the downtown administrative campus is not tied to that transfer, according to a public information officer with King County.

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King County adds additional sheriff patrols to downtown campus following courthouse incident