White Center Storefront Deputy position only guaranteed through 2013

Speaking to the White Center Chamber of Commerce on March 12, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott said the community’s storefront deputy position, currently held by Deputy BJ Myers, is only funded through the end of 2013.

To ensure its future funding, he recommended lobbying King County Sheriff John Urquhart directly.

McDermott explained when the storefront position reopened in 2011 it was through funds set aside by the King County Council for “gang activities” and that “we funded it through the rest of last year and the end of this calendar year.”

Myers came on board in late 2011, and the funding was largely a reaction to a cohesive North Highline community push for the position that is as much community outreach as it is law enforcement. Residents have fond memories of past storefront deputies Steve Cox and Jeff Hancock, both who became integral parts of the cultural fabric as Myers has today.

“It will be something that the Sheriff’s department will consider when they submit a budget,“ Mcdermott said of future funding. “It is not something where the council wants to get into the level of telling the Sheriff how to spend his money because he is running his own department and is an independent elected official.”

So what can White Center residents do to keep Myers (or at least the storefront position) in place?

“Make sure that you are speaking out to the Sheriff about the value of that position so it is prioritized within the Sheriff’s budget,” he said. “Frankly, from my perspective, it is much easier than my trying to work with my colleagues to override the Sheriff’s budget to rearrange his funding.”

King County Sheriff John Urquhart was sworn in on November 28, 2012 after besting Steve Strachan for the position. His contact information is listed online as:

Sheriff John Urquhart
516 Third Avenue, W150 KC Courthouse
Seattle, WA 98104-2312
(206) 296-4155

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