Bill Title: Concerning oversight and training requirements for limited authority Washington peace officers and agencies
Companion Bill: none
“Law enforcement personnel” means any person elected, appointed, or employed as a general authority Washington peace officer as defined in RCW 10.93.020 or as a limited authority Washington peace officer as defined in RCW 10.93.020 who as a normal part of their duties has powers of arrest and carries a firearm. For the purposes of this chapter, “law enforcement personnel” does not include individuals employed by the department of corrections
What the Bill says:
It alters the level of required training: Law enforcement personnel who are limited authority Washington peace officers are not required to complete the basic law enforcement academy or an equivalent basic academy upon transferring to a general authority Washington law enforcement agency or limited authority Washington law enforcement agency, as defined in RCW 10.93.020, if they have: (A) Been employed as a special agent with the Washington state gambling commission, been a natural resource investigator with the department of natural resources, been a liquor enforcement officer with the liquor and cannabis board, been an investigator with the office of the insurance commissioner, or been a park ranger with the Washington state parks and recreation commission, before or after July 1, 2023; and (B) Received a certificate of successful completion from the basic law enforcement academy or the basic law enforcement equivalency academy and thereafter engaged in regular and commissioned law enforcement employment with an agency listed in (b)(iii)(A) of this subsection without a break or interruption in excess of 24 months; and (C) Remained current with the in-service training requirements as adopted by the commission by rule.
What the bill means:
It alters the level of required training for peace officers slightly. It includes “gambling limited trained officers” to the list of personnel who can be transferred to general duty peace officers. It does not mandate additional training from the academy for such transfer. In an era where in the culture seems to demand more training we find that odd but for the fact that most gambling in Washington State is done on Native American lands. Why would that qualify someone to be a general peace officer? We believe that the additional training should be mandatory for all officers since they must not only be able to stand the temper of the public scrutiny but also have the back of their partners when on duty. We recommend a vote yes with an amendment to require full state training.