Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht has given a full commission to a chief who is not approved by the state of Washington as a certified police officer.
Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht responds to department criticism
Former King County Sheriff Sue Rahr, who is now the Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, says they have no record of Chief Patti Cole Tindall. As part of the process to become a fully certified police officer, a candidate must complete the proscribed training course, a current criminal history background check, a polygraph within the last 12-months, and a psych evaluation.
Rahr explained that the law to deputize a person is tricky.
“Essentially, the sheriff can commission whomever she wants, including allowing that person to carry a weapon in the capacity of a fully-commissioned, general authority peace officer,” she told KIRO Radio.
Rahr further explained, “If that person has not met the state training and certification requirements, that responsibility relies solely on the commissioning sheriff.”
Johanknecht acknowledges responsibility for Tindall’s commission in a letter that reads, in part:.
The authority granted is a general appointment, without restrictions or limitations, which is intended to provide the Technical Services Division Chief the authority to provide management to the County Sheriff’s Office. This includes authority to wear the department uniform, the issuing of a department vehicle and the expectation to respond to emergencies as determined by the Sheriff.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has not responded to requests for clarification on what it means that the sheriff shall be responsible.
According to Rahr, when

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