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Category: Washington State Patrol


Gov.-elect Inslee is retaining top leaders for State Patrol and Corrections agencies

Gov.-elect Jay Inslee announced two more appointments to his Cabinet today, saying he’ll retain State Patrol Chief John Batiste and Corrections Secretary Bernard Warner. The re-hires come a day after the incoming Democratic governor named five other appointments to Cabinet posts.

Gov. Chris Gregoire had appointed both agency directors, but the state troopers’ union had been pressuring for someone to replace Batiste.

The union had wanted Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar as leader of the patrol, complaining that the current chief was out of touch.

Inslee’s full announcement is here:


Inslee says he’ll announce pick for WSP chief in coming days

Gov.-elect Jay Inslee said this morning he will have an announcement on the Washington State Patrol chief in the next few days.

Inslee’s remarks at The Associated Press legislative forum came as the patrol’s troopers union went public last week with their effort to replace John Batiste, who has led the State Patrol during outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s entire eight-year tenure.

The union has informed Batiste several weeks ago that the union would not support his staying in the job after Inslee took office. It criticized Batiste for being out of touch and not listening to the concerns of

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Q&A: Washington’s texting, talking while driving laws change Thursday

Thursday marks the effective date of Washington’s revised law on using mobile phones and texting while driving. In this special edition of Traffic Q&A, we answer some frequently asked questions about the law.

Got questions of your own?
Post them as a comment we’ll do our best to get them answered.

Isn’t it already a violation to text or have a cell phone on your ear while driving?

Yes. State laws banning texting while driving and requiring a hand-free device for talking on a mobile device while driving went into effect in 2008. But under the law, the violations were considered “secondary offenses,” citable only if an officer pulled you over for a another violation. Still, the Washington State Patrol has written about 3,000 tickets and given 5,900 warnings since the laws went into effect.

What’s new?

The 2010 Legislature made both texting and driving with a non hands-free cell phone primary offenses. That means police can pull you over if they see you texting or on the phone. The WSP has said troopers will immediately start enforcing the primary offense Thursday – it considers two years an ample grace period.

Drivers with instruction permits or intermediate licenses cannot use any type of wireless device while driving, except for emergencies.

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Olympia man arrested Tuesday night after injury hit-and-run accident on Yelm Highway

Got this from the State Patrol. I deleted the name of the suspect because we generally don’t name them when they are arrested. We wait until they are charged by prosecutors.

Olympia Man Arrested for Vehicular Assault and Hit and Run

A 4-year-old boy was airlifted to Harborview Hospital yesterday with serious injuries to his face after an Olympia man lost control of his wagon striking the SUV the young boy was a passenger in. The man fled the scene.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. last night 34 year-old (name deleted)

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Driver killed after his speeding SUV leaves Pacific Avenue near Highway 512, rolls over and lands on lot full of cars

The fatal accident happened early this morning in Parkland. The Washington State Patrol sent out this news release.

One man dead in roll-over collision on State Route 7

Pierce Co-On 5-24-09 at 3:35 AM, State Troopers responded to a one vehicle roll-over collision on State Route 7 near State Route 512. Upon arrival Troopers observed a heavily damaged 2003 Jeep Cherokee still running on top of some cars parked in a car lot.

The Jeep was driven by 33 year-old Anthony T. McDonald of Renton. McDonald was driving northbound on SR 7 approaching SR 512 at

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Was WSP out of line on motorcycle lobbying day?

Check out story from our sister paper and You Tube video footage of a state trooper nosing around the bikes.

By Jeremy Pawloski
The Olympian

A lawyer representing several Washington motorcycle groups wrote an angry letter to Gov. Chris Gregoire protesting Washington State Patrol’s recent surveillance activity at the Capitol, photographing license plates of motorcyclists who were there to advocate for issues important to them.

“I may be old school, but I always thought that the Capitol was supposed to be a sanctuary for free speech and assembly, and not an opportunity for clandestine intelligence gathering on citizens trying to be involved in the political process,” Seattle attorney Martin Fox wrote.

Fox distributed his letter to numerous Washington media outlets, along with a DVD with images of a trooper “crawling around the bushes of the Capitol to record license plate numbers of motorcycles into his tape machine,” the letter reads.

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