Retired King County Sheriff's Office sergeant John Urquhart, the longtime department spokesperson popular with reporters for his candid comments, is less favored by the Municipal League of King County in its candidate evaluation ratings, released this morning. Urquhart, now running for the department's top job against interim Sheriff Steve Strachan, merited a "good" rating from the league, while Strachan was ranked as "outstanding."
In legislative races, incumbent 36th Dist. Democrat Rep. Reuven Carlyle was ranked outstanding for position 1, and Demo newcomer Gael Tarleton, the port commissioner, was deemed outstanding in her 36th Dist. position 2 race.
The league's 70 volunteers spent more than 2,000 hours on the non?partisan ratings process, it says. The rankings were based on a candidate's involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge. (Complete listings.)
Here's a few select questionnaire responses from the candidates for sheriff:
-The citizens of King County want many things from their Sheriff's Office. They want a police agency that understands you can't arrest your way out of every problem in society. They want a police agency that is willing to consider other alternatives.
-They want a Sheriff's Office that is willing to listen to the citizens it serves. Listens to what the citizens are saying about what is important to them, and then takes action.
-They do not want a police agency that has the attitude of "we're the cops, and you're not!"
-They don't care about so-called business plans or "strategic plans." They want a police department that is responsive and treats them with respect, especially if they have been a victim of a crime.
-They expect their police department to use force only as a last resort, and then only the minimal amount of force necessary.
-They want, as Sir Robert Peel said, not to measure our results by the number of arrests, but by the lack of crime.
-The King County Sheriff's Office is at critical time. We are facing reduced resources and greater public scrutiny, while still needing to be able to keep people safe and to combat crime. We are transitioning from the old school way of policing into the new school approach where we can no longer play the public safety card, believing we are immune from the demands of the economy and higher expectations.
-Instead we need to bring police standards into the 21st century, featuring more face-to-face, hands on, strategic thinking and talking things through. Today's policing needs to reflect the changing nature of how we protect the public's safety. We need to work within communities, with local leaders, with technology and with new training standards to create a Sheriff's Department that is in step with the community it serves.
-We are paving the way for a new way to keep people safe, by focusing on three things, being effective, respectful and accountable. Effective in the way we fight crime and make sure we are using best practices. Respectful in the way we treat people, and by carrying our authority with humility. Accountable to the public we serve, but always examining our policies, training, supervision, and discipline. And- we have to do all three to be able to do our main job- keep people safe.
-I'm a cop's cop, a manager schooled in best practices, business plans and community collaboration.