Metropolitan King County Council
516 Third Ave., Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104
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Sept. 7, 2010
New court security model increases efficiency, saves money
Ferguson applauds smart government solution that achieves cost savings and maintains public safetyIn a move to save King County over $33,000 annually, the Metropolitan King County Council today approved legislation consolidating security services within the County court system.
“By implementing a new staffing model in our courts, we will save taxpayer dollars and maintain security,” said Council Chair Bob Ferguson, the sponsor of the legislation. “It is exactly the kind of smart government solution we need to confront our budget challenges here in King County.”
“This shows that we’re not shying away from examining how King County operates at every level,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “We’re rethinking ways to save money.”
Currently, court security at the King County Courthouse in Seattle and the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, is provided by King County Court Protection Guild Marshals, while the King County Police Officers Guild Deputies serve the six District Court locations. Today’s legislation approves the transfer of security work for the District Courts to the Marshals.
This consolidation, once fully implemented, will result in cost savings from:
• The lower pay rate of the Marshals, compared with that of the Deputies (an estimated reduction from $64,086 per year per officer to $58,756 per year per officer);
• Elimination of motor pool and radio costs as Marshals are not assigned their own cars and radios; and
• Avoidance of overtime pay, as the Sheriff intends to replace the six Deputies currently performing this work with eight Marshals, who will be sufficient in number to cover for Marshals who are absent due to illness, vacation, or other reasons. This increase in the number of full time employees will partially offset some cost savings, but the net annual savings to the county will be an estimated $33,000.
“I applaud the efforts by Guild members, the Sheriff, and the Executive for their innovative thinking and willingness to change the way we do business to save tax payer dollars while ensuring public safety,” said Ferguson. “These types of small savings and work place efficiencies add up to a budget that makes financial sense and serves the public well.”