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Women of Inspiration

Sue Rahr

King County Sheriff

Bio: Sue Rahr has been involved with the King County Sheriff’s Office for 28 years, and became the first woman to be elected King County Sheriff in November 2005. She has served as a patrol officer, sergeant, the commander of the Internal Investigations and Gang Units and the commander of the Special Investigations Section. She was chosen to be Shoreline’s police chief in 1998. As Sheriff, Rahr has been responsible for founding Washington’s Mental Health Summit, for the development of gang and sexual assault units and for the creation of the Party Patrol program to prevent underage drinking and driving.

What does it mean to be honored by the Storm as part of Women of Inspiration Night?
I’m very honored to be recognized as a Woman of Inspiration. I’ve been inspired by so many other women that I still find it novel that someone is inspired by me!

What women have inspired you in your life and career?
I’ve always had a great family and support network. Both have been critical in helping me reach my goals. I am awed and inspired by women who have achieved great things without having that benefit. I’ve been working with Tina Hendrix on a joint venture with the King County Police Activities League and the Hendrix Music Academy. In the process I’ve gotten to know her and her life story. She did not have the advantages I had growing up and yet she pulled herself up from a youth involving drugs and violence and has started a program to help other young people do the same. She is a remarkable, generous woman who inspires me by bringing very troubled young people into her recording studio and teaching them about the music business. She shows them how to express their feelings of rage and anger through music instead of violence.

In your work, how have you seen role models make a positive difference in the lives of others?
In my work I’ve seen the amazing results one adult can make in the life of a young person. In our School Resource Officer program and our Police Activities League I see it happen over and over. Both of those programs are based around the concept of mentoring and role models.

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