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Credit: KUOW / King County

King County Sheriff Dating Game: Today So Far

King County is courting three candidates for its new sheriff. Meet our three contestants for the badge.

Also, would you take a trip for mental health? And by "trip" I mean taking psilocybin.

This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for April 13, 2022.

Let's play the King County Sheriff Dating Game. Each candidate wants to win King County's heart, but only one will get the badge. Let's meet our contestants. He's the police chief of Killeen, Texas and says his main strategy to counter crime is to address violent, repeat offenders. But he also says he's open to alternatives to incarceration. Meet Charles Kimble!

Our second contestant is a major with the Atlanta Police Department in Georgia. He's into community-oriented policing and says he embraces de-escalation training, and reviews of use-of-force incidents. Say hello to Reginald Moorman!

Our final contestant has a hometown advantage, having been appointed to the role of interim sheriff in January. She has a penchant for leading county departments. Before joining the Sheriff's Office six years ago, she led the Office of Labor Relations, and has also led the county's Office of Law Enforcement Oversight. Meet Patti Cole-Tindall!

Those are the three candidates for sheriff that King County is currently courting. There is a little overlap and some differences between them. For example, at a recent virtual press conference, the two out-of-towners brought up the issue of cameras. Kimble said he was "surprised" that King County doesn't use more body cams and in-car cameras, and argued that it's hard to have "validity with your communities" without them. Moorman touched upon the topic, too, noting that he helped with the body cam program in Atlanta.

Cole-Tindall said that while morale is improving at KCSO, staffing is the biggest hurdle right now. Kimble said that staffing levels has been a big topic for many departments and that police need to rethink the process of attracting new recruits.

Kimble and Moorman will be coming from outside the area and could bring a fresh perspective. However, Cole-Tindall comes to the sheriff's office from a rather unique angle, one that has been more administrative and civilian-led. In fact, her law enforcement certification has lapsed. If selected, she will have to retake the 19-week course at the police academy before officially stepping into the job.

Read more about the candidates, and about two upcoming events they will be speaking at, here.

You may have heard about medicinal trends like microdosing to treat things like anxiety or depression, even PTSD. But what about taking a full psychedelic trip as therapy?

Tony Back, an oncologist at the University of Washington, tells KUOW that he thinks psilocybin (the psychedelic compound found in "magic mushrooms") could be a genuine treatment for such ailments. But instead of microdosing, Back launched a study that gave a dose of psilocybin to health care workers experiencing burnout and depression. It would induce a "trip." Two therapists would then spend four hours, or more, talking through the experience with the patients, helping to process their feelings.

Back says that psilocybin acts like a reset button for the brain and disrupts negative thought processes.

How has this study worked out? Read more here.

AS SEEN ON KUOW

caption: A line of about a dozen people passed buckets of summer chinook salmon to be released into Hangman Creek.
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A line of about a dozen people passed buckets of summer chinook salmon to be released into Hangman Creek.
Credit: Northwest News Network

A line of about a dozen people passed buckets of summer chinook salmon to be released into Hangman Creek. Bringing salmon back to the Upper Columbia River will take a lot of time and a lot of money, according to the Upper Columbia United Tribes. The tribes recently received $3 million from Washington’s supplemental budget – a big chunk of change that tribes said will help kick off the second phase of a decades-long study on salmon reintroduction. (Northwest News Network)

DID YOU KNOW?

King County is currently in the process of hiring and appointing a sheriff, after voters decided to stop electing a person for the job. But this is not the first time King County's sheriff has been appointed. King County has flip-flopped over the years when it comes to whether the sheriff should be elected or appointed.

In the 1880s, the area elected its first sheriff. In 1968, some changes happened. The department's name was changed to "King County Department of Public Safety," and its leader became a director who was appointed. It got a name change again in 1980s to the "King County Police Department," but the top job was still appointed.

But voters opted for another change in the 1990s and converted the role back to an elected position. We also renamed the department to its current title of "King County Sheriff's Office." Ever since 1996, King County has elected its sheriff ... until now. In 2020, voters went to the ballot again and 56% of voters approved switching the sheriff's job back to an appointment. They kept the name though ... for now.

ALSO ON OUR MINDS

caption: This sequence shows how the nucleus of Comet C/2014 UN271 was isolated from a vast shell of dust and gas surrounding the solid icy nucleus. On the left is a photo of the comet taken by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 on Jan. 8. A model of the coma (middle panel) was obtained by fitting the surface brightness profile assembled from the observed image on the left.
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This sequence shows how the nucleus of Comet C/2014 UN271 was isolated from a vast shell of dust and gas surrounding the solid icy nucleus. On the left is a photo of the comet taken by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 on Jan. 8. A model of the coma (middle panel) was obtained by fitting the surface brightness profile assembled from the observed image on the left.
Credit: Macau University of Science and Technology

The Hubble telescope confirms the largest comet nucleus ever seen by astronomers

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen by scientists. The C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) nucleus is about 80 miles in diameter, which is larger than the state of Rhode Island, NASA says. The comet's nucleus is about 50 times larger than most comets and its mass is estimated to be a staggering 500 trillion tons.

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