King County Police Officer’s Guild Press Release
The takeover of our nation’s capital last week underscores the need to have well trained and equipped law enforcement officers to protect the public.
The King County Sheriff’s Office is currently unable to adequately respond to large scale demonstrations due to lack of training and equipment.
Very few Deputies in the Sheriff’s Office have received training and even fewer have equipment. The little equipment we have is outdated and ill fitting. For those that have helmets, most were military re-issue intended for war, not civil demonstrations. These Helmets were issued to personnel over 20 years ago during the 1999 WTO Demonstration in Seattle.
Despite repeated requests by the rank and file to obtain training and equipment through the years, King County has failed to respond.
On June 2, 2020, the King County Police Officer’s Guild filed a complaint with L&I regarding the lack of training and equipment for the roughly 723 Deputies of the King County Sheriff’s Office. L&I found King County in violation of exposing its workers to hazardous conditions and has assessed fines for the violations. King County responded by appealing the finding. An appeals examiner heard King County’s case on October 27th, one week before the national election. The examiner denied the appeal.
We are currently facing more political unrest as the inauguration of a new President occurs in two days. We all witnessed brave law enforcement officers protecting our nation’s capital. Some were trampled and nearly crushed to death and one officer died from a head injury. The equipment and training we beg our employer to provide will help protect the brave law enforcement officers of the King County Sheriff’s Office who put their lives on the line to protect others, regardless of one’s political beliefs.
It is fundamentally and morally corrupt to expose us to harm without taking steps to protect us.
The King County Sheriff’s Office is the 7th largest Sheriff’s Office in the nation and 3rd largest Department in Washington State. It is a shame King County treats their first responders in this manner. Law Enforcement Officers are caught in the middle of civil unrest and we need the proper training and equipment to protect ourselves and the public.
We demand an end to the foot dragging and demand that King County adequately train and equip its law enforcement officers before someone gets hurt or dies.
King County Police Officers Guild
Bob Lurry, VP