• December 09, 2016

    • Welcome

      Dear WACOPS members,
      During the last legislative session the legislature pass HB 2908 creating the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing.  The Task Force had three main tasks:

      1. Review laws, practices, and training programs regarding the use of deadly force in Washington state and other states;
      2. Review current policies, practices, and tools used by or otherwise available to law enforcement as an alternative to lethal use of force, including Tasers and other nonlethal weapons; and
      3. Recommend best practices to reduce the number of violent interactions between law enforcement officers and members of the public.


      The Task Force was comprised of 26 members including one legislator from each of the four legislative caucuses and representatives from WACOPS, FOP, COMPAS,  and had four meetings (for a complete list of Task Force members see the final report).  At the final meeting interested groups submitted recommendations which were voted on by the Task Force members and included in the final report. In addition, the legislation required a minority report. WACOPS, FOP, and COMPAS each submitted recommendation for  the minority report.

      WACOPS made the following recommendations:
      1.  Make no changes to current Washington State Use of Force Laws.

      2.    Petition the legislature to implement the following:

      a.      Develop criteria and provide full funding for a statewide database to record use-of-force situations and incidents;

      b.      Provide full funding for Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) including reinstating the Public Safety and Education Account (PSEA);

      c.      Develop, implement and monitor deadly force management and oversight for administrative and supervisory personnel;

      d.      Develop criteria and provide full funding with incentives to law enforcement agencies to meet the best practices of the profession by participating in an accreditation process;

      e.      Provide funding for communities to apply for grants to better address their own concerns of public safety with their community partners;

      f.       Provide equipment and advanced training for de-escalation and the use of less lethal options during encounters; 

      g.      Fully fund mental health access and facilities;

      h.      Address staffing levels with adequate funding.  Develop short and long term goals and solutions.

      The final report was submitted to the legislature and the governor December 1.  The report contains 15 recommendation.  The first recommendation is to remove "malice" and "good faith".  Much of WACOPS recommendation 2 a, b, c, d, f, h, although not always the same as submitted.
      The legislature is not bound by the recommendations of the Task Force.  From here we begin to get ready for the legislative session and meet with members of the legislature and continue conversations really began late last legislative session.  The Task Force was essentially a study, a preview of legislation that we will see during the legislative session.
      More to come as it develops.  Click HERE for HB 2908 and click HERE for the Joint Legislative Taskforce on Community Policing.
      Be safe.
      Carl Nelson
      Executive Director

      Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our fallen brother and to all members of the law enforcement community.  It is heartwarming to see the outpouring from members of the community to this tragedy.

      WACOPS Winter Membership Meeting

      January 18-20, 2017

      Doubltree Hotel - Olympia, WA

      Day on the Hill and Legislative Reception on Thurs, Jan 19, 2017

      Overflow Hotel:  Hilton Garden, Olympia (city center exit) 

      RSVP to:  Lynn Jacobs at ljacobs@wacops.org or (360)352-8224

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