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Tag: Public Safety

Jan.
13th

Tacoma: Proposed concessions from police, fire unions could spare 100 public safety jobs from layoffs

Proposed layoffs of about 100 Tacoma police officers and firefighters may be avoided entirely under concessions proposed by bargaining teams for the city’s public safety unions, police and fire labor representatives said Friday.

It’s now up to the memberships of each union to approve the concessions. The police union has planned a vote for Monday evening. The fire union has scheduled votes for Jan. 26 and 27.

“We came up with a package that answered the layoffs that we were asked to address,” Terry Krause, president of Tacoma Police Union Local 6, said Friday afternoon. “We found the savings elsewhere to do that, it’s concessions. So, that’s what we’ll be bringing to our body to vote on.”

Matt Frank, vice president of Tacoma’s fire union, separately added his bargaining team believes “we’ve identified savings to spare the 44 (fire) jobs that the city has targeted for layoffs.”

“I feel like we’ve accomplished the task given to us,” Frank said, “pending approval of our membership, obviously.”

Neither Krause nor Frank would disclose any details Friday about the proposed concessions.

“Not until it’s voted on,” Krause said. “But you can check with the city.”

John Dryer, the city’s labor negotiator, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Friday.

Councilman Jake Fey said he was pleased to hear of the potential concessions.

“That was the whole purpose of the delay (to public safety layoffs),” he said. “So, I’m glad to hear they think they have a package. We’re going to obviously have to take a look at it and discuss it.” Read more »

Feb.
5th

Senate OKs tougher cell-phone ban

Police could soon be able to pull you over for holding a cell phone.

SB 6345 makes the use of a handheld cell phone while driving a primary offense. The bill would change the current phone ban that allows police to ticket drivers only if they have pulled them over for another offense.

Sen. Tracey Eide,  D-Federal Way, sponsored that first ban in 2007 after years of pushing the issue, and said her latest effort has been easier now that a nationwide consensus is developing.

The bill passed the Senate 33-15 today. “I had absolutely no opposition,” Eide

Read more »

Dec.
3rd

Lakewood shootings: Rep. Hope to propose measures, restrict bail

Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, said today that he is drafting legislation in response to the Lakewood shootings. Among other things, Hope, a Seattle police officer, will propose a measure that seeks to prohibit bail to suspects facing their third strike under Washington’s “three strikes” law.

hopeHere’s the press release issued today announcing Hope’s legislation:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 3, 2009

Hope proposes law changes to prevent future police murders

Legislation would restrict setting bail for suspects tried for third strike In the wake of the Lakewood police officer tragedy, Rep. Mike Hope , R-Lake Stevens, is drafting legislation to prevent serial offenders like Maurice Clemmons from having an opportunity to harm others.

Hope, a Seattle police officer who works patrol when not in session, said this was at the top of his legislative agenda. The three-part legislation will include two proposed changes to the Washington State Constitution and a sentencing enhancement, proposals he says would have prevented the murders of four Lakewood police officers Nov. 29.

The first bill would remove bail opportunities for dangerous individuals who have committed two felonies and are charged with a possible “third strike” felony offense. “The suspect in the Lakewood murders had nothing to lose — he knew, if convicted, that he would spend the rest of his life in prison. Letting him out on bail was a huge mistake, and something that we can’t afford to let happen again,” Hope said.
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Dec.
3rd

Lakewood shootings: State Rep. Hurst seeking hearings, law changes

Sunday’s slayings of four Lakewood police officers by a multiple felon free on bail has created a flurry of ideas among state lawmakers.  Among them, Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, is now seeking to establish committee hearings to investigate “all aspects of the case” when the Legislature reconvenes in Olympia next month for the 2010 session.Hurst

As The Olympian’s Brad Shannon reported Wednesday, Hurst, chairman of the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee, has said he wants open-ended hearings that could lead to follow-up or research by the Sentencing Guidelines Commission or others.

In a phone call from Olympia this afternoon, Hurst told me at least a dozen fellow lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, approached him today with ideas for potential legislation.

Among the ideas, overhauling the bail-bond system, re-examining penalties for rendering criminal assistance to fugitives, amending Washington’s inter-state compacts regarding parolees and re-investigating the state’s “three strikes” law, Hurst said.

Still, Hurst said he favors a slow, cerebral approach before making any law changes.

“We first need to have a comprehensive and thoughtful process to investigate what happened,” Hurst said. “Let’s find out exactly what changes need to be made, so something like this does not happen again.”
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