House unanimously approves Mosbrucker law enforcement bill

A bill that would expand the list of people eligible to fill vacant positions within a county sheriff’s office gained unanimous approval in the state House of Representatives Wednesday.

House Bill 1750 was introduced by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale.

“Especially in rural counties, sheriff’s offices are having a hard time filing vacancies. The existing law only allows the Civil Service Commission to certify the names of the three highest persons on the eligibility list for consideration to fill a vacancy in the sheriff’s office. That limits the hiring pool,” said Mosbrucker. “This legislation would expand that list of highly capable candidates to five people.”

Mosbrucker noted municipal police officers and fire departments have operated under a “rule of five” since 1937.

“The three-person limit makes it difficult for sheriff’s departments to plan for succession, retirements and recruitment. This bill would provide additional flexibility that could allow for better planning to ensure vacancies can be filled in a timely manner, which in turn ensures for good public safety,” said Mosbrucker.

The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.