skip to main content

King County Sheriff

Leadership, Integrity, Service, Teamwork

   King County Sheriff

Emergency: Call 9-1-1

Call (206) 296-3311 24-hours to report a neighborhood problem or a crime that is not an emergency.

King County Courthouse
516 Third Ave
Room W-150
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 296-4155
TTY Relay: 7-1-1












patrol deputyA patrol deputy is probably the person most people think of first when they hear the words “Sheriff’s Office.” It’s easy to picture the distinctive green uniform, the marked car, and the caring, professional deputy.

Despite the name, patrol deputies do much more than patrol the neighborhoods in their districts. They respond to calls, work on projects to improve neighborhoods, conduct traffic enforcement, and follow-up on the cases that they write. Our deputies work with citizens to understand neighborhood problems and find ways to cooperatively improve the situation. In addition, we encourage deputies to show initiative by independently identifying problems and possible solutions.

Staffing Levels

Each deputy is assigned to a patrol district, and many of them remain in the same area for years so that they can meet the people and know each community’s unique needs. Sometimes, due to limited staffing, a deputy will cover more than one district. Unlike some departments, we do not strive to meet a particular level of deputies per population (generally referred to as "officer per thousand"). Instead, we consider many factors such as number of calls, geography, safety factors, response time, time for problem solving, backup time, and prisoner transport.

Patrol in Contract Jurisdictions

Twelve cities, the Muckleshoot Tribe, Metro Transit, and others contract with the Sheriff's Office. Each entity determines how many patrol officers it will provide to its residents, businesses, and visitors. Officers who work in the contract jurisdictions are Sheriff's Office employees, but also enforce municipal ordinances and operate as a member of a unique city police department.

Considering a Career?

Learn More about Deputy Careers  

Contact the Recruiter:
Phone: (206) 205-7625

A Day in the Life of a Patrol Deputy

Contributed by Deputy Dave Hoag

I have found that the only thing about my day on patrol that I can predict is that it’s going to be unpredictable. I am entrusted to work alone and handle a large variety of calls, make good common sense decisions, and adhere to our ethics codes and state laws.

I never know what the next radio call will bring. In a day’s work it is common to assist a stranded motorist, investigate a traffic accident, assist a business owner with shoplifting issues, help a neighborhood with a drug house, or try to solve a chronic parking violation problem. The people I am sworn to protect expect that I can identify their problem and solve it, even though it may have taken months or years for the problem to become a crisis.

I investigate assaults, thefts, vandalisms, robberies, burglaries, frauds and pretty much any other type of crime that exists (other than federal offenses). I preserve, collect, and package critical evidence, and may photograph the scene and lift latent fingerprints. Sometimes, I call in our professional photographers and fingerprint staff to do that work. I determine from my training what certain illegal substances are, and field test suspected narcotics if necessary. I also deal with a variety of problems that aren’t criminal such as evictions, neighbor disputes, natural death investigations, and even disobedient children. I frequently speak to classes at local elementary schools, and I make a point of speaking to children and their parents about safety concerns.

I can respond to a call that may seem routine and end up in an all-out fight for my life while my backup is responding to help me. I have no choice but to be in top mental and physical condition if I want to ensure I go home to my family. I have the personal satisfaction that I have touched someone’s life, usually at a low point, and helped him or her.