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King County Sheriff Sue Rahr retires
King County Sheriff Sue Rahr will retire from law enforcement at the end of this month, ending a 32-year career in service to the citizens of King County.
Rahr will move onto the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, the organization responsible for training all police officers in the state except state patrol officers. Rahr named Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as the interim sheriff. Strachan set to take the office April 1.
In a statement released earlier this week, the King County Council thanked Rahr for all she's done.
"Sheriff Sue Rahr set the standard high for the men and women of the force, but she especially showed the great heights women can achieve in law enforcement," said King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer. "For 32 years, Sheriff Sue Rahr has served in law enforcement and although she will be missed in King County, I am confident she will do great things at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. I am also excited to welcome Steve Strachan to the position of King County Sheriff."
According to the county, Rahr entered law enforcement as a way to pay the bills for law school. Instead, she ended up with a career that "spanned from being one of the first women to work as a regular patrol officer when she was assigned a single-officer patrol car in 1979," to being involved in police work that ranged from undercover narcotics assignments to being the director of Internal Investigations, Special Investigations and the Gang Unit. Rahr took the position of King County sheriff in 2005.
"Our loss is the state's gain," said King County Councilmember Julia Patterson. "The future of the state's law enforcement agencies is in great hands with her at the helm."
The county notes Rahr made it a focus since her election in 2005 to bring the sheriff's office into the digital age. Among her efforts were getting the department to partner with Microsoft and others in the creation and use of "community networks," which help local communities connect with and inform the sheriff's office.
"Her emphasis on crime prevention, community policing and implementing technology tools has left a legacy of partnerships that will continue to serve the public well," said councilmember Kathy Lambert.
Rahr's replacement, Strachan, brings a lifetime of community and public service to the sheriff's office, having already put in over 25 years of law enforcement service. Along with that, Strachan has been an active member of many of the communities he's served in, including two stints as a city council member in Farmington, Minn. In Minnesota, he also served at a state level, being a member of two commissions under Minnesota governors Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty. He also served as the chief of police for Kent from 2006-11. He was selected as Chief Deputy by Rahr in 2011.