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Lt. King receives Domestic Violence award

On October 27th, 2011, Lieutenant Debie King, head of the Department’s Domestic Violence Unit, was honored at the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s 12th Annual awards reception.  From the awards program:

Norm Maleng Public Policy and Systems Change Award Recipient

                                          Lieutenant Debie King

Lt. Debie King of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) is the heart and soul of SPD’s response to domestic violence.  Lt. King is dilligent in her work on behalf of survivors and their children, as well as her work to hold offenders accountable.  Over the years, the system’s prioritization of domestic violence has been at best inconsistent.  Regardless of the system’s priorties, Lt. King was there to do a job and lead the response from a large metropolitan police department, a job she has done well and with the admiration of many.  She understands the issues that patrol officers face and takes a no-nonsense approach to improving the response to DV.  Lt. King understands that responding to domestic violence is always a work in progress.  Because of the complex nature of domestic violence and the amount of domestic violence calls, mistakes will always be made, but Lt. King’s tough expectations help her detectives and patrol officers do better.  This means training officers and working within the department to make sure the Domestic Violence Unit is well resourced.

Lt. King exhibits the qualities that Norm would have loved.  She is responsible and committed to doing the right thing, with a vision that domestic violence should be a core part of police services and response.  Doing a task well, having others be inspired by your hard work, toughness, substance, devotion, and leading by example-all qualities that define Lt. King.

What makes things better is the creation of a culture, whether it be in an organization or a community, where everyone wants to make things better and where the values are shared by everyone from the top of the organization or community to the bottom.  When Norm passed away, he left behind a culture made up of people who believed in him and shared his values.  Lt. King is responsible for the culture at SPD on issues of domestic violence, a culture that says that domestic violence is a priority.