Friday Sep 25, 2015

"Law Enforcement Training in Washington State - or How to Avoid Ferguson's problems"

Sue Rahr

Executive Director Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission

Scribe: Bob McKorkle Introduced by: Ann Norman

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President Paul Chapman (PPC) started the meeting as is the tradition with the ringing of the bell.

Invocation and pledge were handled by Steve Scirmai.

Visiting Rotarians and guests were introduced by Margie Burnett. All were welcomed and thanked for coming. Special kudos went to Alan Pratt who brought three guests. Alan challenged the members to each bring one guest next week.

PPC announced that Nic Wildeman is leaving the club. He is leaving, as many do, to chase new adventures.

Madeline Gauthier updated the club on the adoption party coming up October 10. Volunteers are still needed, especially drivers as Chuck Kimbrough drove home. Please volunteer soon as background checks are required. See website for full announcement.

Carmela Ramaglia dressed in full Bavarian waitress gear aroused the club with her announcements of Oktoberfest and the anniversary party. The full announcement details (but not as charming) can be found on the website.

Devon Hay of UW Rotaract made a pitch for the Rotaract Big West Conference that is being held at Seattle University October 16 – 18. Rotaract attendees need a place to stay and transportation.   See full details on the District website.

PPC and PP Wendi Fischer exchanged pins with little explanation as to why this was 3 months late. PPC claimed it was because PP Wendi would not give up the presidents pin.

SAA Ann Norman tried to raise money with a test on Yogism’s (Yogi Berra). Fortunately for their being an abundant number of oldsters present, it was totally unsuccessful.

Sue Rahr, Executive Director, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission was introduced by Ann Norman. Sue’s full credentials and background can be found on the BBRC website.

Sue’s talk was on how the training of law enforcement in Washington State is changing from a focus on warriors to a focus on guardians. The warrior mentality started with President Nixon’s war on crime and was enhanced when the police departments were allowed access to military toys. Now trainees are being subjected to a less militaristic nature to one focusing on social skills. They are being taught to engage with their communities. This started some time ago but hit the fast forward button after Ferguson. Sue has gained national prominence because of her pioneering. Her talk was accentuated by stories from her 40 years in law enforcement. A very good program.

PPC awarded Sue with Rotary First Harvest Recognition, sponsored by John Cherry and Silicon Mechanics.

Thought for the day:

Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on. – Robert Kennedy

About the Speaker

Sue Rahr is executive director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, responsible for training all city and county law enforcement and corrections officers in the state. She was sheriff of King County from 2005 to 2012, after 25 years working her way up through the ranks of the sheriff’s office, starting as a patrol deputy. Rahr is the architect of the cultural transformation of police training in Washington state, described in the paper she co-authored, “From Warriors to Guardians – Recommitting American Law Enforcement to Democratic Ideals.” She is an executive fellow of the Police Foundation and serves on the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Sue Rahr was born in Wyoming, but moved to Bellevue, Washington when she was five. She has six brothers and two sons, William "Billy" Rahr and Peter Rahr. Her husband, Bill Rahr, is a teacher at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Sue is a graduate of Washington State University with a B.A., cum laude, in Criminal Justice.