KC Sheriff Urquhart's campaign kick-off hosted by Holmes, Satterberg
King County Sheriff John Urquhart held his campaign kick-off re-election Wednesday, April 17, at the House of Hong in the International District. Co-sponsoring the event were King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, Seattle City Attorney, Pete Holmes, and former United States Attorney, John McKay.
In the 2012 election Urquhart defeated Sheriff Steve Strachan. This was a special election to complete the remaining one year of Sue Rahr’s unexpired term. The November, 2013 election will be for a full, four year term. Urquhart is so far unopposed.
Urquhart asked his family to join him on stage. They include his wife, Shelley, and two daughters, Meagan, a pre-K instructor at Bella Mente Early Learning in West Seattle, and Anna, an ICU nurse in New York City. He praised King County Sheriff's Office Deputy for White Center, Brian J. Barnes for voluntarily calming a family during a domestic crisis in Federal Way with the help of his Spanish language skills.
In Urquhart's speech, he began, "For 141 days I've been Sheriff. In two weeks our deputies will start reporting to a precinct again. For the first time in a year they will have roll calls so they can share crime info, discuss policy and meet with their sergeant. It's long overdue (...)
"I work for organizations like OneAmerica and the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project to streamline the new visa process for undocumented immigrants which will (result in) crime victims cooperating with police. This will help us solve crime, protect victims, and put more criminals in jail.
"I've made sure that Unincorporated King County is part of the LEAD Program (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) so that those with minor drug charges can opt for treatment over jail. This has worked very well for SPD in Belltown. We started this program in Skyway and I hope to expand it to White Center (…)
"Two very important members of my team are Virginia Gleason, head of our Professional Standards Division, and Chief Deputy Anne Kirkpatrick, who are here. They are taking the lead on reforming how we will review all use of force incidents including shootings. This program (will monitor) how deputy deputy misconduct is documented and reported because I want to maintain the confidence, efficiency and fairness in our system so the process is supported at all lengths inside the sheriff's office as well with the public."
In his speech, Satterberg, referring to the Marathon tragedy, said, "Sometimes it takes an outrageous event like what happened in Boston to make us all remember to appreciate the first responders, but the truth is that the job of building a first rate police agency happens 24/7, 365 days a year, over years and years." Several area first responders were at the event, and were also praised by Urquhart.
Satterberg told the Highline Times, "John has shown he can make that transition from the public information officer to a leader and that's a big transition. I think he's the right guy to lead the sheriff's office and he's shown every day that he can do the job. There might not be a harder job in public life than to be the sheriff of a big county because you have both those urban issues that a police chief has, but you also have to cover King County, which is bigger than Rhode Island, bigger than Delaware, and you have to be able to respond. It is a big job and not a place for a rookie. He's got tons of experience."
Added Satterberg, "He could have retired and worked on his golf game, but instead came back to be the sheriff. I admire people who don't have to have the job but want to have the job."
Holmes told the Highline Times, "I've gotten to know John since the campaign last year. He approached me and we had a good sit-down, a good conversation, about his positions on accountability and transparency. He said all the right things. He's engaged, he's articulate. More importantly, he is the leader the department needs. He stands up and he inspires people. We're really lucky to have a candidate like John."
"We're supporting our sheriff," said Seattle City Council Member Sally Bagshaw, also at the event. "He is a guy that has experience with King County, and he works well with others."
Also speaking to us, former Seattle Police Chief (1994-2000) Norm Stamper, who now serves as an advisory board member for LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) "I am certainly supporting John," he said. "I marched in the Gay Pride Parade in this city for six years and when I read John's position for same-sex marriage, on this and other issues that are importent to me that have to do with social justice, I thought this is a guy I want to support for sheriff, even though I can't vote for him. I live in the San Juan Islands.
"I met John when he was (former KC Sheriff Dave) Reichert's spokesperson and I had a very good first impression of him," Stamper continued. "Unlike me, he's a cop's cop. At the same time, very sensitive, compassionate, and a taskmaster. What's not to like?"