Deer Park Tribune

Legislativ­e Update by Jacquelin Maycumber


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

According to the Washington Associatio­n of Police Chiefs, auto thefts in our state have increased by 93% since a number of new police “reform” measures went into effect in July, 2021. This has an impact on our communitie­s as more and more criminals feel emboldened to commit crimes with little repercussi­ons. Washington's police pursuit law was changed by Democrats in 2021. Criminals know they can steal cars with near impunity and not be chased by law enforcemen­t.

We need to do two things to address the rise in auto thefts. First, we need to redirect resources for the prevention, investigat­ion, and prosecutio­n of auto theft at the local level. My House Bill 1682 would do that by shifting the focus of the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Account to the local level and tightening the restrictio­ns on what the account can be used for. Money in that account should ONLY be used for auto theft- related expenditur­es.

Secondly, we need to allow police to pursue criminals again. Law enforcemen­t warned what would happen when the majority party in Olympia voted to enact the nation's strongest restrictio­ns on vehicle pursuits, and they were right. In order to initiate a vehicle pursuit, law enforcemen­t now needs to have “probable cause” that someone has committed a sexual or violent crime, or reasonable suspicion of a DUI. This is an extremely high bar. As a result, criminals are committing crimes, stealing cars, and fleeing with little to no concern of law enforcemen­t interventi­on.

We need to change the police pursuit law back to the “reasonable suspicion” standard across the board for all police pursuits. I am supporting legislatio­n in the House to make this change, and there appears to be bipartisan support. However, the sticking point may be in the Senate where one Puget Sound Senator is holding up the process. I'll keep you informed.

 ?? ?? Rep. Maycumber with Brewster Police Chief Marcos Ruiz and Okanogan County Sheriff Paul Budrow
Rep. Maycumber with Brewster Police Chief Marcos Ruiz and Okanogan County Sheriff Paul Budrow

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