(Tacoma, WA, October 9, 2018) The Washington Fraternal Order of Police (WAFOP) respectfully disagrees with I-940 as it is currently written and urges voters to reject the initiative at the ballot.
I-940 is a complex proposal that could compromise public safety. WAFOP believes that I-940 as it is currently written is bad policy, costly and fails to provide the funding mechanism or resources for it’s mandated training improvements.
WAFOP believes there is better policy to be implemented that meets the goals of community leaders and law enforcement. During the 2018 Washington State Legislative Session representatives from the state’s major law enforcement groups worked with leaders of De-Escalate Washington (I-940 sponsor) to create a more comprehensive and collaborative policy that is good for public safety. The result of which was HB 3003 which represented reform that both peace officers and community members agreed upon. That policy has received support and input from both sides of the issue, including the sponsor of I-940.
Unfortunately the legislative process that created HB 3003 was deemed unconstitutional, but the policy was not. While not the outcome that either side hoped for the state Supreme Court’s ruling has not changed law enforcement’s commitment to coming together with the initiative’s sponsor to achieve the goals of HB 3003. Regardless of what happens at the ballot WAFOP and De-Escalate Washington have publicly committed to returning to the table to see the policies created in HB 3003 enacted in the 2019 legislature.
We are committed to respectfully oppose I-940, and want the relationship and trust built with De-Escalate and other community leaders to stay on track. A vote against I-940 allows the legislative process to work and re-enact the improved total package of reforms including funding community input and legislative review. This achieves the goals of reforming the law and building bridges between law enforcement and the community. The collaborative success that I-940 sponsors and law enforcement had should be celebrated.
If I-940 is defeated Washington state would have the opportunity to take center stage on this ground breaking law that develops trust between citizens and law enforcement.
The Washington State Fraternal Order of Police (WAFOP) is a 501(c)8 non profit organization which represents over 2,600 law enforcement officers in the state. Our motto is “Cops helping Cops”.