Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO)
The Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) represents the interests of the public in its efforts to hold the King County Sheriff’s Office accountable for providing fair and just police services. Through its independent review, OLEO seeks to instill confidence and public trust in the integrity of Sheriff’s Office operations and in the effectiveness and professionalism of its employees. OLEO conducts outreach to the communities the Sheriff’s Office serves and provides oversight and recommendations through reviews and investigations of misconduct complaints and systemic issues. OLEO issues public reports and makes recommendations on policies and practices to the Sheriff’s Office.
What We Do
OLEO conducts audits, reviews, investigations and policy work, informed by community engagement and stakeholder partnerships.
OLEO represents the interests of the public in its efforts to hold the King County Sheriff’s Office accountable for providing fair and just police services. By conducting independent reviews and engaging communities, OLEO seeks to instill public trust in law enforcement, promote transparency and integrity of Sheriff’s Office operations, and help ensure the professionalism of the Sheriff’s Office.
Review of Police Shootings
When police use force that results in serious injury or death, OLEO attends the scene. OLEO later reviews the Sheriff’s Office’s internal investigations of these incidents and sits in on the Use of Force Review Board reviews.
Greater Confidence in Misconduct Investigations
OLEO seeks to ensure that the Sheriff’s Office conducts investigations in a manner that seeks to uncover the truth. It reviews the work of the Internal Investigations Unit to ensure that misconduct investigations are conducted in a thorough and objective manner.
In November 2015, King County citizens voted to give OLEO the authority to conduct investigations of police uses of deadly force and misconduct complaints. That authority remains in collective bargaining with the King County Police Officer’s Guild and therefore not yet implemented.
Community Input into Sheriff Policies
OLEO looks at systemic issues such as use of force, search and seizure, recruitment and training to identify trends in police practices and areas for improvement. OLEO typically reports its findings following such reviews and recommends changes to the Sheriff’s Office. In addition, King County Code requires the Sheriff’s Office to allow for OLEO’s review of proposed policy changes before adopting them.
Cultivating Public Input and Engagement
The Community Advisory Committee for Law Enforcement Oversight members serve as liaisons between OLEO and the public, and OLEO staff also conduct outreach. Community input informs OLEO’s work and priorities. OLEO also provides updates and information through social media, our website and our newsletter, the OLEO Insider.
Restorative Resolution of Disagreements
OLEO collaborates with the Sheriff’s Office to offer an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program in which a neutral third party facilitates a voluntary discussion between members of the public and Sheriff’s Office employees to address complaints. The purpose of this program is to enhance understanding between the parties.
Who We Serve
OLEO’s jurisdiction is composed of all the places served by the Sheriff’s Office, including services in unincorporated areas of King County, King County airport, Metro, Sound Transit, and the partnering contract cities of:
- Beaux Arts
- Maple Valley
- Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
OLEO serves all people who live or work in these areas, or use public transportation.
Map of Unincorporated King County
KCSO Precincts & Contract Cities
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Featured news and information
Alert: Many King County offices, including OLEO’s office in the Dexter Horton Building (710 Second Ave, Suite 790, Seattle, WA 98104), are closed until June of 2021 to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- OLEO staff are working remotely and here to assist you by phone, email, or video conference.
- Contact us: 206-263-8870 or OLEO@kingcounty.gov and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
- King County Council meetings are online, on Cable TV 22, or call 206-477-1000 to learn more.
- Find and view archived videos of Council meetings and related meeting materials.
- Adrienne Wat to serve as Interim Director until new OLEO Director is selected
- OLEO 2019 Annual Report
- 6/29: OLEO Guide to Filing a Complaint
- 6/04: OLEO Response to Community Uprisings and Police Violence
- 2/25: OLEO presentation on Sheriff’s Office Policies for Reviewing Shootings and Other Critical Incidents, postposed – reschedule pending.
- 2/25 KCSO: Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht provides feedback to 2/11 OLEO Systemic Review.
- View meeting: presentations, public comment, agendas, and video
- 2/11: OLEO systemic review presentation Evaluation of the Sheriff Office's Policies, Practices and Review Mechanisms for Officer-Involved Shootings (OIS).
- Systemic Review Report: 2017 OIS of Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens
- View meeting: presentations, public comment, agendas, and video recordings
- 2/11 KCSO written response to OLEO systemic review presented to Council.