King County Executive Dow Constantine announced Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 that he has appointed Patti Cole-Tindall to serve as Interim King County Sheriff while the County conducts a nationwide recruitment process for a new Sheriff to be appointed in mid-2022.
Cole-Tindall will be the first person of color to serve as Sheriff in King County’s history.
The King County Sheriff’s Office provides police services to SeaTac as well as other cities.
Constantine also announced a new retention and recruitment bonus program for Sheriff’s officers.
Following the voter-approved passage of a Charter Amendment in Nov. 2020, the King County Sheriff’s Office is transitioning to an appointed, rather than elected, Sheriff. The Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) has developed recommendations for the characteristics of the next Sheriff, focusing on a strong background in law enforcement, community leadership, and community partnerships; a reputation for integrity, honesty, and transparency; the ability to inspire and motivate change; and a commitment to equity, racial and social justice, and LGBTQ+ issues.
“Patti’s background and experience in the Sheriff’s Office and across County government – working with labor, serving her community, and demonstrating integrity and transparency – make her uniquely qualified to step into this interim role. She embodies the key qualities we’re looking for as we begin to rethink community safety, hire the next generation of officers and search for a newly appointed Sheriff,” Constantine said. “I am confident she will ensure a smooth transition and provide strong leadership for Sheriff’s Office employees and the public.”
Cole-Tindall has a background in law enforcement, labor relations, human resources as well as service to the community. She joined the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) in October 2015, serving as the Chief of Technical Services Division for almost five years before being appointed to Undersheriff, where she is responsible for day-to-day operations with the team of three Division Chiefs. She currently oversees the development and implementation of the KCSO strategic plan and the examination and strengthening of the KCSO complaint and use of force review processes.
Prior to that, Cole-Tindall served as the County’s Director of Labor Relations, advising Executive Constantine and the County Council on strategic planning, labor policy, and employment law. She concurrently served as the interim director of the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, working with staff, the Sheriff’s Office, and the public to improve services and promote awareness of the role of civilian oversight in King County.
“I am honored to serve as the Interim Sheriff, and will be working closely with my management teams to support and lead the people of the KCSO until the new Sheriff is appointed,” said Cole-Tindall. “During this transition, my mission is clear: support our workforce, ensure a smooth transition, and listen to the communities we serve as we reimagine law enforcement in King County.”
RECRUITMENT & RETENTION BONUSES
Additionally, today’s appointment included the announcement of a proposal to be transmitted to the King County Council to, subject to ratification by the respective unions, appropriate funds for recruitment and retention bonuses for existing and new Sheriff Officers:
- A one-time $4,000 retention bonus to all commissioned Sheriff’s Office employees employed on Jan. 1, 2022
- A hiring bonus of $15,000 for lateral hires of Sheriff’s Deputies
- A hiring bonus of $7,500 for new Sheriff’s Deputies
- A $5,000 referral bonus for current Sheriff’s Office employees who refer successful candidates who are hired as Sheriff’s Deputies.
Last week, Constantine announced the start of a nationwide search for King County’s next Sheriff. The recruitment process has worked to incorporate community identified priorities and qualifications for the next appointed Sheriff, using recommendations from PSAC and will include opportunities for input from community representatives, employees, and labor representatives. Cole-Tindall’s first day as Interim Sheriff will by January 1, and she will serve until the conclusion of recruitment in the summer of 2022 at which time a new Sheriff will be appointed.