Sue Rahr joined the King County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 1979 and for 25 years worked her way up through the ranks until she was elected Sheriff in 2005. She served as Sheriff for seven years, retiring in 2012. She was responsible for managing over 1,000 employees, a $150 million budget, and contract police services to 12 cities and transit policing for the Seattle/Puget Sound region. She led KCSO through successful CALEA National Accreditation in 2010, and was awarded “2010 Elected Official of the Year” by the Municipal League. She has worked at the local, state, and national level to improve the criminal justice system response to people suffering from mental illness. She served as a member of the “Executive Session on Policing” at the Harvard Kennedy School from 2011 – 2014.
She has served on many non-profit community and professional boards and held the following offices:
- President – Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
- Commissioner – Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
- Commissioner – Washington State Forensics Investigation Council
- Executive Board – National Sheriffs Association
In April of 2012 she was appointed Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. She is responsible for training all city and county law enforcement and corrections officers in the state, as well as many other criminal justice professionals. She is the architect of the cultural transformation of police training in Washington State described by the phrase “Moving from Warriors to Guardians.” This shift in philosophy moves away from the traditional ‘boot camp” model to a training strategy based on critical thinking and decision making. As a result of this work she was appointed to the “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing” in December of 2014.
She graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Criminal Justice from Washington State University and is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute and the FBI National Executive Institute.