law enforcement

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

When the highest ranking African American woman in the Washington State Patrol abruptly retired in August, she was lauded as a “trailblazer” who had risen to become the first black woman sergeant, lieutenant and captain in the history of the nearly 100-year-old agency.

Megan Farmer / KUOW

A state senator from Seattle is renewing his call to rewrite Washington’s police deadly force law. Democrat David Frockt represents the legislative district where Seattle police shot and killed Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of four on Sunday.

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One casualty of the looming end of Washington state’s legislative session is a bill on police use of deadly force.

Washington has one of the highest bars in the nation for charging police officers who use deadly force. They are protected as long as they act in good faith and without malice.

Jeanie Lindsay / Northwest News Network

At a hearing in Olympia Tuesday, citizens supporting a pair of bills in the Washington legislature involving the use of deadly force by police said it’s too hard to keep law enforcement officers accountable. But some officers who showed up to testify said it’s not a change of legal language that's needed.

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Two law enforcement groups in Oregon say drug possession convictions should result in lighter sentences than they currently do. The Oregon Sheriffs Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police said they'll urge state lawmakers to classify drug possession as a misdemeanor instead of a felony when no other crimes are committed.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Thirty-seven new Washington State Patrol troopers graduated Wednesday during a ceremony at the state Capitol in Olympia. But they’re only making a dent in a big trooper shortage.

Chris Potter/StockMonkeys.com

If an Idaho state trooper stops an Idaho driver just across the Washington state line and a lawsuit ensues—whose case is it? The Washington Supreme Court Thursday said it’s basically a legal coin toss. 

Washington State Patrol

Consultants leading a study on why dozens of troopers have recently left the Washington State Patrol warned Thursday that the agency is in “dire straits.”

Cannabis Training University / Wikimedia http://bit.ly/1kfTt1S

The stated goal of Washington’s new marijuana law is to stop treating adult pot use as a crime. But Washington’s pot consultant says this experiment in legalization will only work if the police aggressively target the black market. And he’s concerned that won’t happen.

The sponsors of Initiative 502 were clear. They said it was time for a “new approach” to marijuana in Washington. They wanted to allow adult pot use, free up law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes and “take marijuana out of the hands of illegal drug organizations.”

SoulRider.222 / Flickr

SALEM, Ore. – Police officers in Oregon can continue to use random license plate checks as a law enforcement tool. That's the upshot of a decision issued Thursday by the Oregon Supreme Court.

Have you ever been stopped at a red light and noticed a police car in your rearview mirror? There's a good chance that officer is running your license plate number through his or her computer. In seconds a state database can show if everything's kosher about your car. If not, you'll probably get pulled over.