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Performance, Strategy and Budget

Annual Indicators and Measures

Justice and Safety

Proactive Law Enforcement


Keep people safe in their homes and communities


Maintain a proactive law enforcement presence in unincorporated communities and cities with whom we contract

Why is this strategy important?

King County residents value law enforcement services and rate this as a high priority, according to the 2012 King County resident survey. We all want to feel safe in our homes and communities.

King County Sheriff Deputies are deployed to maximize the safety of residents and deputies. One important tool for maximizing safety is proactive law enforcement. Proactive calls are officer responses that result from something an officer sees while on patrol as opposed to a specific call for which an officer is dispatched. Proactive law enforcement is based on the premise of police and community partnerships. Police officers work collaboratively with local residents, businesses and other service providers to integrate into the community, share information and work together to prevent crime. Proactive policing aims to reduce crime, improve community life, reduce the fear of crime, and improve police-resident relations.

How is our performance?

Over 30 percent of the King County Sheriff's Office activity in unincorporated King County is driven by proactive law enforcement. Proactive calls for the unincorporated areas of King County have decreased since 2009. It is unclear why there has been a proportional drop in proactive calls. One explaination may be that there has been a decrease in service area, due to annexations of large portions of land in King County. Additional explanation for the decrease comes from budget reductions that have affected Sheriff's Office patrol staffing. One-third (33 percent) of King County residents reported satisfaction with the extent that police are proactively solving problems. An additional 52 percent of residents felt neutral on this issue, indicating that there is an opportunity for the Sheriff's Office to explain their role and to educate and engage communities in understanding their work.

Moving forward

Ensuring the safety of King County's 1.9 million residents is the King County Sheriff's Office top priority. In working to be an effective organization, the Sheriff's Office has a five-year strategic business plan that sets goals and measures progress toward those goals. For example, one of the organization's strategies to reduce crime and the fear of crime is to focus staffing on patrol visibility and high impact offenders. In addition, KCSO will set specific measureable goals for crime reduction, based on geographic area in the coming year. The Sheriff's Office will conduct ongoing review and monitoring of the entire plan, from assigning accountability for strategy implementation to establishing a forum for collaborative problem-solving to address issues with strategy implementation.

Related Links

King County Sheriff's Office

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Charts and Maps

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2012 King County Resident Survey