The Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act (LETCSA, formerly known as I-940 or SHB 1064) has been signed into law by the Governor and is now in the hands of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. The Commission must create and adopt “rules” to establish training requirements (including first aid) and establish criteria for independent investigations of deadly force.
If you would like to be placed on our distribution list and receive updates on LETCSA, please email Zola Campbell.
Dan Christman, LETCSA Program Manager
Jerrell Wills, LETCSA In-service and Patrol Tactics Program Manager
Sean Hendrickson, Patrol Tactics Lead Instructor
Zola Campbell, LETCSA Program Specialist
Investigations Criteria Overview
Academy staff has already begun to tackle the challenge of establishing criteria for independent investigations of deadly force. Two experienced retired investigators are researching best practices from around the nation. They will be soon be joined by
several additional experienced investigators from across the state as well as civilian oversight experts to collaborate on what the rules are going to look like. Because the Commission will have more time on the topic of investigations, there will
be ample opportunity to develop draft rules, and adjust and improve as additional input is received from the public. All public input will be shared with the Commissioners as it is received before they must adopt rules by December 6th.
Community and stakeholder participation is critical to develop and deliver these rules. The Commission staff has asked community organizations to host public forums across the state on investigations criteria. After these forums, it will be the responsibility of the organization to submit the input to Commission staff to be presented to the Commissioners.
De-escalation Training Overview
The environment of policing has become increasingly dangerous and complex due a variety of factors, including untreated mental illness, addiction disease, and the breakdown of community institutions. Additional training in de-escalation and less lethal
tools are necessary to reduce deadly police encounters, save lives, and improve public trust and confidence in the police.
De-Escalation training incorporates three critical principles of police tactics to give officers the best options to resolve dangerous situations – time, distance, and shielding. When officers are far enough away from a person armed with a deadly object to avoid injury, can take cover from potential gunfire, and have time to verbally engage, they have the opportunity to diffuse and change the trajectory of a volatile situation. Effective de-escalation requires not only effective patrol tactics, but also knowledge about mental illness, communication techniques, and human psychology.
Since 1974 the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, comprised of 14 Governor appointed Commissioners, has had the authority to establish standards and provide training to peace officers and other criminal justice professionals. The Commission provides 720 hours of mandated basic training to every police officer in the state, which includes de-escalation and crisis intervention training. Now, the Commission is developing enhanced de-escalation and less lethal alternatives to train new officers and officers who have been in the field for any number of years.
The following documents are available for more information on LETCSA.