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WA Lawmakers Ask State To Provide More Police Training Classes

Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission

Washington lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the state’s police training agency to hold more basic law enforcement sessions for new officers.

Rep. Jaquelin Maycumber’s (R-Republic) bill applies to the Criminal Justice Training Commission. At a House Public Safety Committee hearing late Tuesday, she noted that Washington is last in the nation in the ratio of police officers per citizens.

“We are reaching a catastrophic level of getting law enforcement from hiring to on the streets," Maycumber said.

Her point was reinforced by James McMahan from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

“We struggle to find people who are qualified and interested in becoming law enforcement officers," McMahan said. "We think if we do end up getting the stars aligned that we can find somebody to fill one of these vacant positions, who wants to be and is qualified to be, that we ought not to struggle with getting them into the academy.”

Maycumber’s bill would require the training commission to increase the number of basic sessions it sponsors from the current nine or 10 per year to 15 by next year and 19 by 2024.