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King County Sheriff Sue Rahr announced today that she has accepted a job as director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission and is stepping down as sheriff effective March 31.

The move was not a surprise as Rahr, 55, had spoken publicly about her wish to make the move. She will assume her new duties at the training commission the first week of April, she said in a statement released on Wednesday

Rahr has appointed Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as interim sheriff. The County Council will then either confirm him as interim sheriff or name someone else, she said.

Rahr, who has been in law enforcement for 32 years, was first elected King County sheriff in 2005. She had been appointed to the position earlier that year when Dave Reichert was elected to Congress. Reichert recommended Rahr for the job, much in the same way Rahr is now seeking to select Strachan.

Rahr said she had complete confidence in Strachan and would not and could not leave this post without that confidence.

Rahr called the new job a rare and unexpected opportunity to use her accumulated knowledge to help direct the states efforts to educate law-enforcement officers and improve their skills, effectiveness, and safety.

“I have designated Chief Deputy Strachan as the Interim Sheriff upon my resignation. .I have met with each Councilmember and expressed my strong support for Chief Deputy Strachan to take the helm of this large, complex organization. He has been the Chief Deputy since January of 2011 and is well versed in the operation and current issues facing the Sheriffs Office.

It is not an easy decision to step away from the uniform, badge, and people who have been such an important part of my life for the past 32 years, she said.

It has been my honor to serve the citizens of King County as Sheriff and to work with the extraordinarily talented and dedicated law enforcement professionals in the Sheriffs Office and throughout King County and Washington State.

Rahr announced in January that she planned to leave her post early.