A television news investigative series criticizes use of force and the handling of citizen's complaints. PARC is engaged to review incidents, internal investigations, and make recommendations for changes – which the County Council pledges to adopt within days.
A local television investigative series in 2011 scrutinized the King County Sheriff's Office's use of force and handling of citizen complaints. As one of its first major tasks, the King County's Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) charged PARC with evaluating the King County Shieriff's investigations and reviews of deputy-involved shootings, other uses force, and personnel complaints – and make recommendations about policy, procedure, and practice that the Sheriff's Office should implement.
Scope of Work
PARC considered not merely the factual circumstances surrounding reviewed incidents but the implications of each incident on:
- Use of force policy, data, and investigations;
- Officer tactics;
- The construction and process of internal review boards; and
- Citizen's complaints.
Best Practices. PARC evaluated policies and training in light of best practice–as established by assessments of law enforcement agencies nationwide, model policies from national organizations, legal and academic research, and consultation by experienced professionals and law enforcement experts.
Transparent Internal Review & Discipline. Internal investigations of critical incidents must be rigorous, fair, objective, and timely. Reviews and assessments of those investigations must be critical, comprehensive, transparent, and willing to consider tough issues and questions–even if the officer ultimately is found to do everything consistent with Department policy and the law.
Mechanisms for Critical Self-Analysis. PARC considered how the Sheriff's Office could create and strengthen internal mechanisms for self-identifying and self-correcting emerging problems and challenges.
Collaboration. PARC worked closely with a number of key stakeholders, including the City Council, civilian oversight, the Sheriff's Office, and community stakeholders.
PARC's Recommendations Quickly Are the Consensus. Within days of the public release of PARC's report, the County Council took the actions necessary to adopt nearly all of PARC's recommendations – with minimal debate and the support of the then-Sheriff.
KEY ISSUES ADDRESSED
Review deputy-involved shootings, uses of force, and personnel complaints; and make recommendations about related policy, procedure, and tactics.
KEY ISSUES ADDRESSED
Use of Force
Less-Lethal Force Instruments
Data & Information Technology
Officer Training & Tactics
"King County may act soon on monitoring deputies' use of force," Seattle Times (Sept. 2012)
"New audit criticizes King Co. Sheriff's review of deputies' use of force," KING-5 (Sept. 2012)
"Report slams how shootings by King County deputies are investigated," Seattle Times (Sept. 2012)