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King County Sheriff's Office to hire 14 new deputies
King County Sheriff Steve Strachan announced that he will be hiring 14 new deputies in the coming months, using funds already available from the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) budget.
Strachan credited the ability for the new hires on "good budget management by his patrol operations command staff and sergeants." Their work has kept overtime costs down for KCSO, freeing up the funds for the new hires.
"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," Strachan said. "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 cops on the street."
King County Executive Dow Constantine, who has been trying to make county government more efficient and cost-effective since he took office in 2009, said he's pleased to see KCSO taking that mission to heart.
"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."
The "Lean project" Constantine referenced is an idea that the he borrowed from car manufacturer Toyota. Essentially, Lean is a focus on efficiency and cost-control at all levels of a particular organization.
According to the county, four of the new deputies were set to be hired this month and last. Five more will be added in November, and the final five will be added to KCSO's ranks in January.
King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert said these new deputies will be a boon to all of King County, especially the unincorporated areas.
"I commend our sheriff for managing resources to hire these deputies and keeping public safety in our unincorporated neighborhoods as a priority," Lambert said. "These deputies will be deployed in the filed, patrolling the large unincorporated areas and providing an increased presence of law enforcement that deities criminal activity in addition to responding to crime reports."