News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Let our officers do their jobs

As talks of defunding the police ring through the halls of Congress, West-side legislators in Olympia continue to push through policies that are negatively impacting our communities, and this time, the consequences could be dangerous.

Instead of empowering our law enforcement officers to protect our families and businesses, recent legislation passed by Democratic leaders in our state, in particular HB 1310, has tied the hands of our law enforcement officers behind their backs.

Under this law, which went into effect in July of this year, our law enforcement officers can no longer detain suspects when there is reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred. That means if there’s a drive-by shooting and an officer sees a car speeding out of the neighborhood, they can’t stop it. These officers are being told by their attorneys that they’re better off not getting involved in these situations and that it’s less of a liability to let the crime occur than for them to get involved. Have you heard of anything so ludicrous?

Yesterday, I met with local officers at the Sunnyside Police Department. They are rightly concerned about how this legislation impedes their ability to do their jobs and what that means for the safety of their communities, our children, and our officers.

At a time when our crime rates are exponentially growing—even in Sunnyside, our crime rate is the highest it’s been in the last ten years—the safety of our communities depends on the support we provide to those who protect and serve. Right now, under Governor Inslee’s leadership, the legislature is doing anything but that.

If any of these lawmakers took just five minutes to think about the impacts this bill will have on communities throughout the state, it would be a no-brainer to revise or rescind the legislation. If they listened to one of the stories I heard directly from officers in my community, they’d be hard-pressed to further their support for these policies.

Our law enforcement should receive all the tools they need to keep our communities and our families safe and sound. And at a time when policies are being put forth daily in Olympia and in Washington, D.C., that will hamstring their ability to do so, it’s clear that they need all the support they can get.

I will always support our cops, and I proudly stand on the side of law and order, justice and defense, and the greater good. I am in constant contact with local law enforcement and community leaders who deal with these issues on a daily basis, and I keep their thoughts and suggestions in mind when pursuing legislative solutions.

Just last week, I cosponsored the Back the Blue Act, which establishes new criminal offenses for killing, assaulting, and fleeing to avoid prosecution for killing a judge, law enforcement officer, or public safety officer.

This legislation also allows law enforcement officers to carry firearms into federal facilities and other jurisdictions, and it expands grant opportunities to be used to build trust and improve relationships between law enforcement and their communities. Trust that these days, in some communities, is somewhat lacking.

I am very concerned with the anti-police policies the State of Washington has implemented and continues to consider, and I urge these legislators to reconsider their actions. I also urge the men and women in Central Washington to contact their state representatives to let them know that you do not support these absurd policies and that you want our police officers to be able to do their jobs.

I want to thank the men and women in law enforcement and their families, especially around the holidays, who sacrifice so much to keep our communities safe. You all go above and beyond each day to make a difference and we owe you the utmost gratitude. Thank you for your service and know that I will defend you – both here in Washington state and in our nation’s capital – every day.


Reader Comments(0)