New police reform laws “confusing”

WSSA urges governor to call for special legislative session

LACEY – The Washington State Sheriffs Association (WSSA) sent a letter to Governor Inslee on August 16 requesting the governor to call for a special session of the legislature to clarify the recently enacted reform laws in the interest of public safety.
“Washington State’s Sheriffs are elected by our counties to ensure public safety,” the WSSA letter begins. “It is clear to everyone that the newly enacted police reform laws are confusing and have many different interpretations, which reduce our ability to respond to calls and provide service to those who need it most.”
The letter suggests to best address the confusion and standardize interpretation “…we believe a special session by the Legislature is needed and warranted this year.”
“Public safety is too important to allow continued confusion,” the letter concludes. “The citizens of Washington State deserve law enforcement in their communities that can effectively protect them. Our law enforcement across the state needs and deserve support and clarity on the new reform laws.”
Sheriffs from 37 of the state’s 39 counties belong to WSSA. Earlier this summer they met in Ellensburg on July 15 to sign a letter reaffirming their sworn oaths to support, obey, and defend the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Washington. Among the signors was Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley and Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris.
Morris attended the Bridgeport city council meeting last month to explain how the new police reform laws affect Bridgeport’s law enforcement that the county provides for the city. Last July, Hawley spoke before the Pateros city council that contracts with Okanogan County for its law enforcement and delivered a similar message about the new reform laws.

 

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