Re: “For the next King County sheriff, we need a proven change agent” [April 19, Opinion]:

Rob Saka is absolutely correct about the need for fundamental change in the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO). I am part of an informal group of more than 40 Shoreline residents who have been working to get our city leadership to acknowledge the Shoreline Police Department’s history of institutional racism.

KCSO tallies all traffic tickets issued by race for each city contracting with it for police services. We filed public records requests and reviewed its data for six contracting communities. By our calculations using the data, for Kenmore, Covington, SeaTac, Woodinville and Burien, Black residents were ticketed at 1.5 to 3 times their representation in each of those cities for both 2018 and 2019. The most recent data for Shoreline was worse than the previous seven years: 13.3% in 2020 and 16.5% in 2021. Black residents represent only 5% of Shoreline’s population.

Efforts insisting that leadership of both the city and county address this evidence of institutional racism across KCSO’s service area have proved fruitless.

It must be a requirement of a new sheriff that the department publicly acknowledge this problem, apologize to Black residents for past harms and eradicate racial profiling from police services.

Bruce Amundson, Shoreline