For months now law enforcement agencies have been warning us about rising crime rates. Now the evidence is in black and white.

  New State Crime report out this week

In its current form, all Washington state law enforcement agencies have contributed to the annual Crime in Washington Annual report, published by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, since 1980. The 2021 report has just been released, and it does not paint a pretty picture.

Last July 1st, at least a dozen new laws went into effect, significantly hindering or limiting the powers and scope with which police, sheriffs, deputies and other law officers could respond to and deal with crime. For example, Kennewick had to retire its 37MM beanbag gun, in favor of a 'less lethal' 20MM version. They had to 'borrow' Pasco's until they could get one.

Earlier this year, a woman in Kennewick who was trashing a home and threatening police with a knife (she charged at them at least once) was allowed to slash a dozen police car tires because officers could not use a Taser or beanbag gun, or tear gas on her. Why? Because they didn't have probable cause that her actions were directly placing themselves or others' lives in jeopardy.  These are just a few examples of these new laws.

   WA Murder rates skyrocket

According to the annual crime report, WA state set a record for murders with 325, a 5.9 percent increase over 2020, and the highest known in state history. Violent crime overall rose 12 percent, and vehicle theft rose 27.3 percent.

  Car and auto parts theft rose 100 percent, much of that due to people stealing catalytic converters to recycle for money. 

There were 1,928 assaults on law officers in 2021, which many believe to be why so many are leaving our state. Overall, statewide, the number of LE officers dropped 4.4 percent, with 495 either retiring, leaving our state, or leaving LE entirely.

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However, the one crime area where rates went way down involves drugs. Due to the legislature's actions and the Blake Decision from the State Supreme Court, drug arrests dropped 73.6 percent. The Blake Decision decriminalized drug possession, and it's retroactive to convictions prior to 2021.

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