A majority of Washington voters support the statewide package of police reforms.
In 2021, Washington State passed a statewide package of police reforms to better protect both community and police. Two bills in particular — HB1310 and HB1054 — have become the subject of misinformation by some law enforcement. These bills do the following:
- Require de-escalation.
- Restrict when physical force can be used.
- Limit when police can engage in high-speed car chases.
- Ban police departments from owning and operating military equipment like tanks, armed vehicles, sound cannons, grenades, and machine guns.
- Require officers to be identifiable when on duty (i.e. a badge or ID number).
- Restrict the use of tear gas.
Whereas a segment of the police community supported the adoption of these bills, some police are more interested in protecting the status quo, resisting change, and thwarting transparency and accountability by fear mongering and refusing to do their jobs.
These overdue laws have the potential to save lives and improve relations between police and the public.