Agency Request Legislation 2023
Our priority for 2023 agency request legislation concerns oversight and training requirements for limited authority Washington state peace officers and agencies.
This multi-agency effort, supported by the Department of Natural Resources, the Gambling Commission, the Liquor & Cannabis Board, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, and Parks & Recreation Commission, proposes amendments to standardize training, hiring, and certification requirements across all law enforcement agencies in the state. The proposed bill does not seek to impact current scope, authority, or jurisdiction of any limited authority law enforcement agency.
The bill addresses three primary issues:
- Training: Currently, limited law enforcement agencies are not required to complete any law enforcement training. Yet, limited authority law enforcement agencies want to make sure their peace officers are adequately trained for the safety of the community and the officer. This legislative proposal seeks to require limited authority Washington peace officers, as defined in RCW 10.93.020 who as a normal part of their duties have powers of arrest and carry a firearm, to receive the same training as other law enforcement officers in Washington state.
- Certification: Because the limited law enforcement agencies have no state training requirements for their peace officers, the officers are not certified either. If an officer does something wrong, there is no state accountability in which the officer would lose their certification. Thus, officers fired from one limited law enforcement agency could be employed at other law enforcement agencies. This bill would mandate all limited law enforcement officers to be held to the same state certification standards as other law enforcement officers. Officers could then be decertified if misconduct occurs.
- Standardization: This bill would change state law to require limited authority law enforcement agencies to have the same training, hiring, and certification requirements as general authority law enforcement agencies, aligning the limited law enforcement agencies with the state standards that Washington legislators identified as a key component of police reform in 2021.