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Our Solutions for Public Safety

We believe that keeping our communities safe is a top priority of government, and that families should come before felons.
In order to have a thriving economy and successful schools, we must first have safe neighborhoods where you want to live. We work closely with the other side of the aisle to promote solutions to current trends in crime. Our goal is to protect you by making Washington the worst place to be a criminal.

We are supportive of recent legislation that strengthens driving under the influence (DUI) laws by :

  • Allowing a law enforcement officer with probable cause of DUI to arrest the suspect and keep them in custody for no less than six hours.
  • Making it a felony DUI if a person is convicted of DUI and has three or more prior DUI offenses within the past ten years or four or more prior DUI offenses within the past twenty years.
  • Adding ten years incarceration when a person is found guilty of vehicular homicide DUI (rather than an additional two years as under current law).

We have recently sponsored successful legislation that:

  • Provides more tools for police to identify gangs;
  • Lengthened the statute of limitations for prosecuting auto theft;
  • Created a juvenile gang court;
  • Created more severe sentences for vehicular homicide; and,
  • Allows judges to deny bail for violent suspects facing their third felony, and therefore a life sentence in prison; and,
  • Made our state the national leader for laws that combat human trafficking and support survivors.

Protecting our protectors

During the 2012 session we:

  • Became one of only 13 states to institute a Blue Alert system. The system immediately notifies the public about a suspect on the loose suspected of injuring or killing a law enforcement officer.
  • Created civil penalties and mandatory fines – up to $10,000 dollars - for anyone who harms or kills a police dog.
  • Allowed corrections officers’ uniforms to be made by the private sector instead of inmates in order to increase quality and avoid a disrespectful conflict of interest.

 

Did you know?

  • Washington is the highest rated in the nation for prevention of human trafficking. (Source: Polaris Project)
  • 120 people have been killed in gang related homicides in the last decade. (Source: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs)
  • Washington has the 7th lowest per capita murder and non-negligent manslaughter rates in the country. (Source: FBI)
  • Between 2007 and 2011, the rate of commissioned officers decreased by 6 percent in Washington. (Source: Washington State Office of Financial Management)
  • Washington currently houses about 17,000 offenders in 12 prisons. (Source: Washington State Department of Corrections)
  • About 70 percent of offenders in Washington prisons are serving time for a violent crime. (Source: Washington State Department of Corrections)

Better tools to enforce current laws

We cannot wait for tragedies to occur. Police and courts need better tools to ensure public safety and prevent future crimes.

Our solutions include:

  • Allowing local officials to file injunctions against adults proven to be members of a gang;
  • Making possession of tools specifically used for car and motorcycle theft a crime; and,
  • Increasing penalties for repeat offenders of driving under the influence. We have consistently introduced measures each year to do so.

Follow legislative action affecting public safety: