Metro Transit Police Chief Jose Marenco has provided exemplary service to the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) for 24 years and to the Snoqualmie Police Department for two years prior to that. Since October 2020, Jose has been King County Metro’s friend and partner as Chief of Metro Transit Police. We’re tremendously grateful for his outstanding work on behalf of Metro’s employees, our riders and our community members. In recognition, KCSO recently promoted Jose to Chief of the Patrol Operations Division.

As this move unfortunately moves Jose away from Metro, I want to personally thank him for the care, integrity and thoughtfulness he brought to the position and to his team every day. Jose embodies Metro’s values and our shared commitment to responsibly and respectfully advancing the safety and well-being of everyone on our transit system.

With characteristic optimism and without complaint, Jose and his officers brought compassionate problem-solving to their work on the most difficult challenges facing not just public transportation, but—by extension—our region, too. Time and again, the insights that Jose and his officers provided into the realities on the ground and the solutions that are showing promise were invaluable.

One of Jose’s lasting contributions was how he has worked to embody and operationalize Metro’s Safety, Security and Fare Enforcement (SaFE) reform initiative. Through in-depth engagement, we heard from our community members and our employees a strong and consistent desire for Metro both to provide a visible, safety presence and to show up the right way—which sometimes means tapping the expertise of a community-based partner, facilitating a mental health intervention or patiently engaging with someone in crisis. Jose has been a true partner throughout the entire process. He is a strong advocate for the individuals and families who rely on transit every day and need the experience to be accessible, reliable and secure. And he understands that, when difficulties on our system arise, de-escalation may not be the fastest tool, but it is often the safest and the best.

It’s also fitting that Jose created the Spirit of Reggie Award in honor of the late Deputy Reginald “Reggie” Thomas. Each year’s recipient—as selected by employees across Metro—represents the epitome of effective and influential public service.

We wish Jose all the very best in his new post and know we will continue to work together, albeit in different ways. As KCSO looks for the next Metro Transit Police Chief, they will be searching for another talented individual who similarly demonstrates the dedication, empathy and knowledge that Jose brought to Metro. Our goal remains ensuring that everyone has a safe and welcoming transit experience.