Sheriff John Urquhart has served the citizens of Washington State as a police officer for over 39 years, the last 27 as a full-time member of the King County Sheriff’s Office. His career has included stints as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Master Police Officer, Sergeant, street-level vice/narcotics detective, public information officer and administrative aide to two sheriffs. He has investigated everything from property crimes to homicides. Early in his career he was selected by his peers as the Officer of the Year at his precinct and then as the Officer of the Year for the entire Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Urquhart grew up in North Seattle, and after high school he attended the University of Washington. He graduated from the School of Business with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Government, and Society. He began a business in a nearby suburb, and grew the business for several years before selling it to pursue other interests.
Sheriff Urquhart joined the Sheriff’s Office (then the King County Police) full-time in 1988, and eventually became the public information officer. He had a reputation, not only with the press but also with the community, for being honest, straight-forward, and transparent as he provided both information about the good and the bad. A Seattle Times article in September of 2011 called him “…blunt speaking…known for his honesty and ruthless wit….who sees the media as an integral part of the democratic process.”
Sheriff Urquhart retired in early 2012 and soon after filed to run for Sheriff against a veteran police chief appointed by the King County Council to complete the term of the previous sheriff who retired early. A resounding victory in the November election made him King County’s 33rd Sheriff. The next year in 2013, King County voters elected Sheriff Urquhart to a full four-year term.
Jim Pugel is the Chief Deputy at the King County Sheriff’s Office, located in Seattle Washington. As Chief Deputy, Jim oversees Patrol Operations Division, Criminal Investigation Division, Special Operations, Training, 911 Communications Center, Records and Data as well as the 16 cities and agencies that contract for services with the Sheriff’s Office. Prior to that Jim was Interim Chief at the Seattle Police Department.
He began his career at the Seattle Police Department as a volunteer officer and was hired as a police officer in 1983. Jim worked in myriad assignments and eventually became the interim chief of police. He retired in April of 2014 after 31 years of service. Jim then joined the King County Sheriff’s Office as the Chief Deputy in September of 2014, working directly for Sheriff John Urquhart.
While an assistant chief Jim was the department’s executive sponsor working closely with numerous community groups, non-profit organizations and government groups in creating the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD). LEAD is the only initiative of its kind in North America where low level, non-violent drug users, dealers and sex workers are given a chance to divert to treatment and other care at point of arrest instead of being put in jail. Jim serves on the Kennedy School of Government Executive Session on Community Corrections, and the VERA Institute Advisory Panel of Justice Reform for Healthy Communities. Both groups focus on ways to better divert people from prison and integrate released offenders while improving the health of all.
Jim is a graduate of the University of Washington with a BA in Political Science and English. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1997, the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University in 2002 and the Cascade Executive Management Program, Evans School of Public Policy, University of Washington in 2006. He lives in Seattle is involved in community organizations.
Chief Of Staff
Chris Barringer serves as the Chief of Staff in the King County Sheriff’s Office. As chief advisor to the Sheriff, Chris handles a wide range of matters of institutional importance on behalf of the Sheriff, and oversees all operations of the Office of the Sheriff, to include management of designated staff, budgets, administration, policies, and procedures. Chris provides coordination and oversight in the development of defined core initiatives for the Office of the Sheriff. He serves as the Sheriff’s primary strategic liaison with governmental, political and community constituencies.
Prior to joining the Sheriff’s Office, Chris served as a deputy prosecutor in the Bellevue City Attorney’s Office. During law school, Chris spent summers studying in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Paris and Montpellier, France. His final semester was spent working on a war crimes trial in The Hague, The Netherlands, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. It was the first war crimes tribunal of its kind since Nuremberg. Additionally, Chris interned in the Violent Crimes Unit in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Prior to entering law school, Chris spent several years as a policy staffer at the King County Council, where he researched and drafted legislation regarding public safety and government reform.
Chris grew up in a military family. His father served 20 years in the United States Air Force, and two of his three brothers are Air Force veterans. Chris earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Seattle Pacific University, and his law degree from Seattle University. He lives in Covington with his wife, Samantha.
Chief Of Patrol Operations Division
Chief Dan Pingrey began his law enforcement career shortly after earning his B.S. in Applied Physiology at Seattle Pacific University in 1983. After serving with the City of Kirkland Police Department for two years, Dan joined the King County Sheriff’s Office. Now 27 years later he has progressed through the ranks and serves as the Chief of the Patrol Operations Division, having accepted the assignment in May of 2012.
Dan believes in earning the respect of the people he works with which is reflected in his law enforcement career path. He was promoted to Field Training Officer (FTO) in 1992, then to Master Police Officer (MPO) in 1992, and then to Sergeant in 1996. After serving as the Assistant Chief/Administrative Sergeant in the City of Sammamish (a KCSO partner city) for 6 years, Dan was promoted to the rank of Captain. Two years later he promoted to the rank of Major and became the Chief for the City of Shoreline, one of the contract city partners of the KCSO.
Along with overseeing one of the largest work force aspects of our police enforcement services, Dan continues to develop and enhance our contract city partner relationships that are part of his scope of work as the Chief of the Patrol Operations Division. He has been active throughout his career as a trainer and participant in programs to enhance the Department wide goal of Reducing Crime and the Fear of Crime.
Chief Of Criminal Investigations Division
Robin Fenton was recently named as the Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division. Prior to this move she was the Chief of the Technical Services Division (since 2009). Robin began her law enforcement career 35 years ago when she joined the King County Sheriff’s Office on December 10th, 1980. She served as a patrol officer for three years before joining the Criminal Investigations Division. A promotion to Sergeant four years later meant a return to patrol, followed by a promotion to Lieutenant that would come a quick two years later in 1991. During her time as Lieutenant Robin would serve at Precinct 3, the Communications Center, and then in the Internal Investigations Unit. She continued her move up the ranks with a promotion to Captain in 1995 which led to a longstanding assignment at Precinct 2 in our Kenmore location. Three years later saw Robin achieving the rank of Major serving at the same location. A promotion to Chief meant a move to headquarters in the King County Courthouse downtown Seattle in 2005. In that assignment she would oversee the running of the Field Operations Division which she had been a part of for almost 29 years.
As Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division Robin Fenton oversees a diverse work force. The Division includes the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Fire Investigations Unit, Major Accident Response and Reconstruction, Major Crimes Unit, Registered Sex Offender Unit, the Special Assault Unit and the Warrants Unit.
Chief Of Technical Services Division
Patti Cole-Tindall served as the director of the King County Office of Labor Relations for six years prior to becoming a part of the King County Sheriff’s Office in October of 2015. Her previous experiences include serving as an internal affairs investigator for the County’s Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, and an assistant director of that department’s Community Corrections Division. At the state Employment Security Department, she was responsible for the regional investigative program that detected fraud and theft of unemployment benefits. She was also a special agent for the Washington State Gambling Commission, and completed the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in 1992.
More recently, she served as a key advisor to the King County Executive and County Council on strategic planning, labor policy development and employment law as the Director of Labor Relations. She concurrently served as the interim director of the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO), 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.
As Chief of the Technical Services Division, Patti oversees the 911 Communications Center, Regional AFIS Fingerprinting Program, finance and payroll, information technology, the Civil Unit, Data, Records, Contracting and Property Management Units, along with a host of other duties in this varied and complex division.