Rep. Eric Robertson and Rep. Gina Mosbrucker released the following statement after the House Community Safety, Justice and Reentry Committee passed House Bill 1363, relating to law enforcements ability to conduct vehicular pursuits.
“Changing the restrictive probable cause standard from the misguided police reform policies of 2021 is once again a major focus before the Washington State Legislature. We took a small step in the right direction today to unhandcuff our law enforcement officers and their abilities to keep our communities safe by moving to reenact the reasonable suspicion standard,” said Robertson, R-Sumner. “I was disappointed to see the amendments offered and accepted by the committee. Where the defining circumstances under which a law enforcement officer can pursue a fleeing criminal is a start and puts us in a better position than we currently are, I believe these provisions are still too narrow. I’m afraid I also have to disagree with the sunset clause to allow the reasonable suspicion standard to expire in July 2025. There is still work to be done, but I’m hopeful it will improve as this bill moves through the process. Law enforcement professionals depend on reasonable suspicion discretion in split-second decisions. It’s time to keep our momentum forward-focused. Our law enforcement officers deserve that.”
“I’m grateful this bill was brought up for a vote in the House Community Safety, Justice, and Reentry Committee. This vote on the day before the policy bill deadline ensures that House Bill 1363 remains alive and can move forward in the 2023 session. We know that it needs more work, especially with the newly adopted amendments. But the bill, as passed by the committee, is much better than the existing law. It would give officers the ability to pursue under reasonable suspicion of a violent offense, sex offense, assault involving domestic violence, an escape, or driving under the influence,” said Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, ranking Republican on the committee. “We hope that as this legislation moves forward, we can work together in a bipartisan manner to make it a much better and more effective bill – one that creates balance to protect the community and allow law enforcement to continue to do their job.”
House Bill 1363 passed the House Community Safety, Justice and Reentry Committee today (Thursday) on an 8-1 vote. It now moves to the House Rules Committee for further consideration.
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