Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Washington State Patrol

Jan.
9th

Union offers Inslee a test of independence he must pass

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

One concern that many – including this newspaper’s editorial board  – have about Jay Inslee is that the state’s next governor might be too cozy with the public employee unions.

Now the union representing Washington State Patrol troopers and sergeants – which endorsed Rob McKenna for governor – has conveniently proposed an early test of how independent Inslee might be. The union has called on him to dump WSP Chief John Batiste and replace him with its hand-picked choice, Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar.

Apparently Batiste – who served in the patrol

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Aug.
9th

Agencies reacted the right way to sex offender audit

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

For years now the state has maintained a registry of sex offenders and where they live. But apparently no one thought to match that registry against the addresses of those who provide child care or foster care.

That was an unfortunate oversight, because a new state audit reveals that sometimes those addresses do overlap.

The audit, which began about 18 months ago, found 28 instances of registered sex offenders living in child care or foster care settings since 2002. In 24 of the cases, the care provider had concealed the offender’s presence from social service oversight.
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Dec.
1st

Secure Communities: Great idea, if done humanely

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Secure Communities is based on a good idea: systematically intercepting illegal aliens who run afoul of the law. Like a lot of good ideas hatched in Washington, D.C., the devil lies in the execution.

Secure Communities is a partnership – not a happy one, in some cases – of federal, state and local law enforcement. When suspects are booked into jail and their fingerprints are passed on to the FBI, the fingerprint metrics also go to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, allowing for cross-checking between criminal and immigration databases.

An illegal alien who lands in jail can thus be immediately flagged for possible deportation by ICE.
Done right, this catches criminals who aren’t in the country legally – precisely the class of illegal aliens nearly everyone agrees ought to be sent home if not jailed in the United States.

As a way of prioritizing immigration enforcement, this beats random hunts for people who jumped borders or overstayed visas yet are otherwise law-abiding.

Aggressively implemented by the Obama administration, Secure Communities is now operating in roughly 800 jurisdictions in 34 states. Washington is not among them.

The Washington State Patrol could provide the metrics to ICE with a few strokes on a keyboard. But the governor and state patrol say it’s up to the individual counties to request that the WSP forward the fingerprints to ICE. They report that none of the county sheriffs have so requested.

One gets the impression that no one wants to touch this tar baby until 2013, when the federal government will force the issue by funneling all FBI fingerprint data into ICE.

Opponents of Secure Communities appear to break down into two camps. One essentially doesn’t believe in borders and fights any serious attempt at immigration enforcement.
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