Sue Rahr began her 43-year law enforcement career as a deputy with the King County Sheriff’s Office in 1979 and worked her way up through the ranks until she was elected Sheriff in 2005. She served as Sheriff for another seven years, retiring in 2012. She was responsible for over 1,000 employees, a $150 million budget, and contract police services in 12 cities and transit policing for the Seattle/Puget Sound region. She led KCSO to CALEA National Accreditation in 2010 and was awarded “2010 Elected Official of the Year” by the Municipal League. In 2012 she was appointed Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission where she served for nine years and was responsible for training all city and county law enforcement and corrections officers in the state, as well as many other criminal justice professionals.
She served as a member of the “Executive Session on Policing” at the Harvard Kennedy School from 2011-2014; served on the “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing” in 2015; is a consultant with the NYU Law School Policing Project to Reimagine Policing; is the Co-Founder of the Center on Police Culture; serves as an advisor to many national police reform programs and organizations including the Council on Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, and the Innovative Policing Program at Georgetown University with ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) and Police for Tomorrow.
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
- Executive Board – National Sheriffs Association
- Board of Directors for the National Policing Institute
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. She co-authored the seminal academic paper about transforming the training culture at the WA State Criminal Justice Training Commission – published in 2015 by the Harvard Kennedy School and the National Institute of Justice – introducing the national dialogue on shifting police culture from warriors to guardians.
She is married to a retired high school teacher and has two adult sons and two grandchildren.