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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Public safety remains one of my, and the House Republicans, top priorities. In this e-newsletter, I’d like to provide some input into recent police reform bills that went into effect as law on July 25th that truly “handcuff” our law enforcement officers.

But, before I get started, I’d like to extend my sincere condolences to the Brown family who recently lost their hero, Detective Sergeant Jeremy Brown of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. He lost his life fighting for, and protecting, his community. My thoughts and prayers are also with all the Clark County Sheriff’s Office as they process this horrible loss.

And to all the brave men and women of law enforcement across our state, who go to work each day as the protectors of society never knowing if that day may be their last, thank you for your service.

Police reform bills “handcuff” our law enforcement officers

At a time when crime and violence continues to rise in this state, now is not the time to be taking tools and response protocols away from law enforcement.

I believe police officers were already held to a very high standard, but now they are being held to an impossible one. A vast majority of police officers are hard-working, dedicated, and honorable public servants. They put their lives on the line every day to keep us, our families, and communities safe. As a former commander of the Washington State Patrol’s Office of Professional Standards, I understand law enforcement officers make mistakes and need to be held accountable when that occurs. I have been there and done that.

During the 2021 legislative session, majority party Democrats passed several police reform bills. Some of these measures disarmed the police and took away important tools used to de-escalate situations. There are dangerous consequences for these changes and, as a result, communities are less safe.

On July 25, 2021, House Bills 1054 and 1310, along with Senate Bill 5051 – amongst others – went into effect as state law.

For more in-depth information on these policies, please bookmark this website. You can find it by clicking here, or by clicking on the graphic below.

The unintended consequences of these new laws are already being felt by law enforcement personnel, first responders (such as firefighters), and municipalities (local government) across our state.

Here are some examples:

The Legislature needs to focus on real solutions that will bridge the gap of the already fragile relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve, not widen it. Therefore, I support the call for a special session of the Legislature to correct these poorly written and misguided laws that have “handcuffed” our law enforcement officers.

“We are calling on Democrats and the governor to push back against the ‘defund the police’ movement, come to the table, and work with Republicans and the law enforcement community on solutions that will address the problems created by their new policies. This needs to be done quickly before more harm is done to the communities and people we represent.”     

“With people’s lives at stake and criminals continuing to escape justice, it is imperative that we as a legislative body take immediate action to remedy these problems. We implore the governor to call a special session so the Legislature can address this issue and pass new reforms that will allow law enforcement to quickly and effectively stop criminals and keep Washingtonians safe.”

I support accountability, increased training, and de-escalation; however, these new laws go too far and make our communities less safe. Fixing this mess will remain one of my top priorities as we head into the 2022 session.

I would like to hear from you and get your thoughts on these new policies. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this email.

It’s an honor to serve you.

In your service,

Eric Robertson

State Representative Eric Robertson, 31st Legislative District
465 John L. O’Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7866 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000