A happy irony: With Kenmore police precinct closure, Woodinville gains

  • Written by Don Mann
Photo courtesy of Kenmore website. Beginning late January, Kenmore police will be parking their cruisers at Kenmore City Hall. The city of Woodinville may also be seeing a bit more of the black-and-whites in town.
It’s not often that budget cuts are a good thing, but the closure of the King County Sheriff’s Office in Kenmore last Monday will have a direct benefit for Woodinville.

In the continuing effort to save dollars, the sheriff’s office closed the doors of the Kenmore precinct, as well as the one in Maple Valley.

King County Sheriff Sue Rahr says the move will save King County taxpayers $8 million over the next 20 years, or $400,000 annually.

“We are saving money, strengthening our relationships with our contract city partners, and improving our access and visibility for the benefit of the citizens of King County,” the top cop said in a press release.

Kenmore, like Woodinville, contracts with King County to provide police services.

Kenmore’s 12 police officers will continue to work out of the old digs at 18118 73rd Ave. NE until they move into a new and larger space on the second floor of Kenmore City Hall at the end of January, Chief Cliff Sether said.

“Our move-in date is a bit of a moving target at this point,” Sether said, “but we should be working out of city hall by February.”

As of December 5, duties like fingerprinting, administering blood-alcohol-content (BAC) tests, and storing evidence are done at the Shoreline precinct, while the bad guys still get booked at the Snohomish County Jail in Everett.

Sether said the transition will be seamless.

“Kenmore citizens will not see any change in services,” he said.

“Patrol and response times will remain the same as usual. One nice thing for us is that we’ll have a little more space to do our paperwork in city hall. We work closely with city staff as it is, and to be in the same building is a big positive.”

Woodinville Police Chief Sydney Jackson said the move will have a definite positive effect on Woodinville as well.

“The Sheriff’s Office has asked us to take on some housing support for the deputies in that jurisdiction,” she said. “It means more deputies working out of our work space — doing paperwork and taking lunch breaks here — which means more police presence in town. Citizens will notice more police cars around town, and they’ll be available if we need them.”

Moreover, Jackson said, for using the space the county will contribute about $11,000 annually to the WPD, and will spring for some upgrades, including a BAC machine and an evidence room with secure access — two things yet to be made available on the ground floor of Woodinville’s city hall.

“It’s a huge win for us,” Jackson said, “but primarily because of the added police presence.”

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