Dems Propose “Fixing” Police Pursuits with Committee, Not Legislature
The chair of the WA State Senate Law and Justice Committee has said she will not allow a hearing on a bi-partisan bill that would restore most police pursuits in WA. Instead, she favors a controversial bill that would kick the issue to a committee.
Senate Bill has bi-partisan support
According to information from GOP Senate Communications Coordinator Tracy Ellis, and Senate Minority Leader John Braun, Democratic Senator Manka Dhingra has publicly said she will not allow the hearing on Senate Bill (SB) 5352, which would restore what's called "reasonable suspicion" to police pursuits, making them possible again. Now, officers have to use "probable cause" which requires proof the driver of the vehicle committed a crime (in most cases) before they can be chased.
This has caused vehicle theft to explode in our state, and the WSP says hundreds of drivers they've stopped for various reasons just drive off, because they can't chase them.
Senator Braun issued a statement Tuesday, January 31st, indicating Senate Democrats including Dhingra favor Senate Bill (SB) 5533, which would instead turn this issue over to the Criminal Justice Training Commission.
Braun said in part:
"...that bill would take the issue out of the hands of the Legislature and subject it to agency rulemaking by the Criminal Justice Training Commission. It would allow Democrats to avoid accountability by making it the CJTC’s problem. The Legislature should fix its own mistakes.”