Many officers are retiring early in the state of Washington after a host of new police reform proposals became law this year. One of the officers from Yakima is Mike Henne. After more than 25 years as a Yakima Police Officer he decided to retire early rather than try and do his job under the scrutiny of new state laws. His last day as a YPD officer was August 31.

HENNE SAYS IT'S OBVIOUS THE LEGISLATURE HAS SENT A CLEAR MESSAGE

The new laws among other things require police to have probable cause, as opposed to reasonable suspicion before using force. Local authorities say that one new law, among many others is already changing the way they've responded to calls in the past. Henne says he simply didn’t want to operate as an officer under the new laws. Local police chiefs say "the legislature has sent a clear message when it comes to the use of force;they want law enforcement to NOT RESPOND to every call for service, to slow down, create distance use shielding, communicate and on occasion even leave a scene to avoid the use of force."

MANY RETIRING OFFICERS ARE NOW WORKING IN SEATTLE

But while Henne others and other veteran officers are retiring early or simply quitting they’re still working. Henne says he’ll soon be working for a company called Seattle’s Finest Security and Traffic Control. The company says they specialize in off duty or retired law enforcement security. Henne says he’ll make more money and not have to deal with any of the new police reform laws. Plus Henne says his new job will consist of simply guarding construction sites or directing traffic. He says many officers who’ve retired early around the state are now working for the company.

THE YPD RECRUITMENT OFFICER SAYS YOUNG PEOPLE STILL WANT TO BE COPS

Hallie Meyer, the Yakima Police Department Recruitment Officer says while some officers are retiring to quitting early to escape the new laws she’s still seeing 15 to 20 people a month who are interested in starting a career in law enforcement. Trevor Veiga is from the lower Yakima Valley and he’s excited about becoming a police officer. The 24-year-old graduate of Central Washington University says he knows about the new reform laws and adds “they won’t be around forever.” Veiga says he’s looking forward to helping people the reason why he wants to become a police officer.

HENNE PENNED THIS LETTER BEFORE RETIRING FROM YPD LAST MONTH

"Today I reluctantly turned in my notice of retirement, effective August 31st. I know many will say congratulations, and there is a part of me that looks forward to it. There is a large part of me that feels like I am abandoning the people who have stood with me, facing the evil that does exist in the world. Most people will truly never know the horrors that we face seemingly on a daily basis. Governor Inslee and the WA law makers have made our job IMPOSSIBLE. I can no longer risk my life for a Govt that is looking to find reasons to put cops in jail. Governor Inslee recently refused to shake the hand of a YPD Officer when he last visited Yakima, just because he was a Police Officer.
I am going to miss the job and the people, but the years of horror have caught up with me. I told myself it was worth the heartbreak from time-to-time because we were making a difference. With the new “police reform” laws recently passed we will never again be effective.
Most lawmakers, Governors, Judges and attorneys will never know what it is like to have drug dealer living next door, family members who have been a victim of gang violence or having homeless drug addicts sleeping in their yards.
God help this state and this country when the Police Officers of tomorrow are hired because of their willingness NOT to stand up to and fight the evil that really is out there. Right now pacifists are running this country."

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