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
Office closures to help to stop the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may be experienced.
- OLEO staff are working remotely and can still assist members of the public by phone or email.
- Call or email us, and we will get back to you as soon as possible: 206-263-8870 or OLEO@kingcounty.gov
- The King County Council has postponed council meetings and standing committees until further notice.
- 2/25: OLEO presentation to King County Council Law & Justice Committee postponed
- 2/25 KCSO: Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht presentation to Council provides feedback to 2/4 OLEO Systemic Review Report.
- 2/11: OLEO presents report, Systemic Review of the 2017 officer involved shooting of Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens
- 2/11 KCSO written response to OLEO systemic report presented to Council.
- 2/4: OLEO publishes guide to identifying law enforcement officers on Metro and Sound transit in English, Spanish, Chinese