(Tacoma, WA, May 7, 2019) Recent news stories highlighting law enforcement command officers’ annoyance with King County Prosecutors Office failure to adequately prosecute repeat offenders and those that assault law enforcement officers are casting public light on a long-standing front-line law enforcement frustration.
A failure to consistently prosecute repeat and prolific offenders does immeasurable damage to the public’s sense of safety and fails to consider the victims and the unintended negative impact on the community when such decisions are made. Washington State Fraternal Order of Police (WAFOP) supports the utilization of alternatives to incarceration including current and future diversion programs recently funded in the recent legislative session. However, in situations of high-volume offenders whose crimes only escalate in severity the community deserves a reliable partner in public safety from their local prosecutor’s office.
Additionally, those who assault law enforcement officers must be held accountable. The working men and women in Washington law enforcement risk their lives every day and should be recognized as victims of assault when an individual(s) deliberately inflicts injury or severe pain on the officer. Current selective prosecutorial practices send the message that our local peace officers are not valued in their roles or are expendable resources in the diverse network that makes up public safety.
We know that law enforcement officers in our state go to work every day with a passion to keep the communities in which they serve safe. WAFOP proudly stands with the men and women of our members in King County law enforcement agencies featured in recent news pieces including Auburn, Bonney Lake and Federal Way as well as all of our members in King County, Washington state and nationwide.
As an association, WAFOP represents nearly 3,000 officers in Washington and over 345,000 nationwide through the National Lodge. Regional lodges are spread throughout the state and represent over 42 bargaining units. WAFOP members work at the local, state and federal level and include associate members that represent records, communications and other law enforcement support departments. The WAFOP proudly represents law enforcement officers of all ranks and agencies.