19th arrondissement Representative Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, has pre-tabled two bills this week for the next legislative session.
In a statement from Walsh, he states that;
House Bill 1588, titled “Restore the Power of a Peace Officer to Engage in a Driving Chase where there is a reasonable suspicion that a person has broken the law and the officer is following safety standards appropriate ”, does exactly that.
House Bill 1589, titled “Regarding the Power of Peace Officers to Use Physical Force,” enables law enforcement officers to use their professional training, sound judgment and discretion to defuse violent and potentially violent situations.
Walsh introduced both bills before the next legislative session because he believes they address immediate dangers to public safety in Washington state.
“In the last session, the governor, the state attorney general and their supporters in the legislature rushed through legislation that aimed to ‘reform’ law enforcement activities in this state,” Walsh said. “In reality, these hasty policies made our streets more dangerous. They emboldened criminals and violent criminals. And the good people of Washington are currently suffering from higher crime rates because of it. We must act quickly to resolve these problems.
Walsh, who serves as a prominent Republican on the House Civil and Judicial Rights Committee, points out that HB 1588 and HB 1589 are both “tightly suited” to alter existing state law just enough to restore the effectiveness of state law enforcement policies.
“Both of these bills are surgical fixes, based on my discussions with sheriffs, police chiefs and frontline officers in my district and all around Washington,” Walsh said. “They are tackling the most pressing issues facing us today. It’s like triage in an emergency room. We need to make these changes first, to stop the bleeding. Then we can more deliberately consider the changes we need to make to address the other public safety issues plaguing our state. “
The 2022 legislative session in Olympia begins on January 10.