Born and raised in King County, Mitzi Johanknecht has served her community for 33 years and is an experienced, progressive law enforcement leader. She began her law enforcement career when she joined the King County Sheriff’s Office on January 8th, 1985. Through her history of dedication and hard work, along with a strong sense of honor and respect, she worked her way up through the ranks and was elected to the position of Sheriff on November 7, 2017.
Mitzi started as a deputy in the north precinct and before her tenth anniversary with the department, she was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. A quick 4 years later, she was promoted to the rank of Captain. She was then promoted to the rank of Major, commanding the Sheriff’s Office Precinct 4 in Burien.
Sheriff Johanknecht has a wide-range of experience, having served in leadership roles in every division and location in the Sheriff’s Office. Mitzi was the first woman to command TAC-30, the King County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. As a deputy, she was the first to work with a multi-disciplinary team in King County housing. Throughout her career, Sheriff Johanknecht has collaborated with other agencies, community groups and residents to build relationships of trust to promote public safety.
Mitzi and her wife, Maureen, live in West Seattle. Their adult daughter, Sydni, and son in law Scott live in New York City. Sheriff Johanknecht serves as an executive board member for the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC). She also volunteers on the board of Companis, a local non-profit that matches volunteer professionals with non-profit agencies in need of staffing assistance.
Scott Somers is Undersheriff of the King County Sheriff’s Office working out of its Headquarters location in Seattle Washington. A seasoned law enforcement executive and public safety expert with over thirty-eight years of experience, Somers key strengths include building and leveraging partnerships, developing individuals and teams and achieving effective, efficient results. His strengths also include strategic planning, capabilities development and budget management.
Somers grew up in a Navy family and traveled extensively when younger. His family retired to a dairy farm in rural upstate New York. This is where he met then married his wife of now over 42 years, Debbie. They have three adult children and five grandchildren. Somers undergraduate work was at the State University of New York at Hudson Valley and the State University of New York at Utica. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Staff and Command and the Naval Postgraduate School - Executive Leadership Program in Homeland Security.
Somers proudly served over twenty-five years in the United States Air Force/Air Force Reserve, primarily with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He spent almost six years with the City of Kent Police Department where he served as a patrol officer and detective. He lateraled to the then King County Police Department in 1985 and served as a patrol officer, detective and Master Police Officer. Somers was promoted to Sergeant in 1991, Captain in 1998, Major in 2003, Division Chief in 2005, then served again as Captain from 2008 through 2017. Like Sheriff Johanknecht, Somers has held a wide array of command assignments including Internal Investigations, the cities of Burien, SeaTac and Maple Valley, and with the transit agency Sound Transit.
Somers Chaired the King County Police Chief’s Association in 2004 and served on the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Underserved Victim’s Task Force, and Auto Theft and Sexual Offenders Housing Committees.
Somers is responsible for the day to day operations of the Sheriff’s Office together with the team of three outstanding Division Chiefs he is proud to serve with. Sheriff Johanknecht has also tasked Somers with overseeing the development and implementation of the King County Sheriff’s Office 2018-2022 Strategic Plan and examination and strengthening of the Sheriff’s Office complaint and use of force review processes.
Chief Of Patrol Operations Division
A 30 year veteran of the King County Sheriff’s Office, Lisa Mulligan spent much of her career patrolling, supervising and managing police activities in South King County. She retains a keen interest in fighting crime and the fear of crime through outstanding police service and community engagement.
Lisa has a strong background in police training. In addition to many years as a field training officer, she served as a member of the King County Advanced Training Unit, an instructor and Assistant Commander of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy and was the founding Commander of the WA Police Corps training academy. These positions allowed her to focus on her passions which include community policing and problem solving, leadership development, curriculum development, facilitation and communication skills.
Shortly after the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Lisa jumped at an opportunity to represent the King County Sheriff’s Office in the federal Department of Justice, Office for Domestic Preparedness. This two year assignment required her to move to Washington DC where she was tasked with the development and implementation of anti-terrorism training programs, for first responders across the country.
Since returning to King County in 2004, Lisa has served in a number of supervisory and command roles, including Chief of the Metro Transit Police and Chief of SeaTac Police. Each role has played an important part in her development as a law enforcement executive, crowning her many years of operational exposure and oversight with consistent reminders of the importance of engaging with the community we serve.
Lisa is married and has two step children. Her husband Chad, is a Deputy with the King County Sheriff’s Office, serving in the Advanced Training Unit and SWAT. They enjoy traveling and spending time with their family.
Chief Of Criminal Investigations Division
As the Chief of Criminal Investigations, Jerrell Wills oversees the diverse work force of Major Crimes Investigations, the Advanced Training Unit and the units that fall under Special Operations. His focus areas are advancing technology and equipment, how the collection and delivery of crime analysis occurs for partner cities and patrol staff, less lethal & de-escalation training, and employee career development.
Jerrell was promoted to Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division after serving as the most senior Precinct Commander within the King Sheriff’s Office. During his nearly 10 year tenure as Major, Jerrell led three different precincts through multiple administrations and was simultaneously tasked with downsizing two of the larger facilities in 2009. During that time, the Sheriff’s Office experienced significant budgetary cuts to staffing and its’ investigative model. Through his expanded leadership roles Jerrell developed his strengths to actively and thoughtfully listen, be supportive of team partners, and through collaboration achieve comprehensive deliverables.
As a native of California, Wills’ family relocated to Washington while he was in high school. After high school he followed them to the Pacific Northwest and attended the University of Washington, graduating with a BA in Society & Justice. Jerrell enjoys the support from his wife Shannon and their blended family of six children.
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.
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 KCSO Human Resources Unit, 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. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and her two sons.