Regional News

Maycumber’s bill to help shift toward community policing signed into law by governor


Apr 29, 2021

The 2021 legislative session ended on Sunday, April 25. Prior to the final gavel falling on the mostly remote proceedings, legislation was signed into law to create a law enforcement outreach program for traditionally underserved communities.

Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic and prime sponsor of House Bill 1001, said it's a first step toward transitioning law enforcement into more community-oriented policing, rather than the current reactionary model.

"Washington law enforcement officers are overworked as they are dispatched from one call to the next. We have one of the lowest numbers of per-capita law enforcement in the nation," said Maycumber, who served as a former deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff in Colorado. "We need to shift from a reactionary model to a community policing model, where officers are integrated into the communities they serve, building relationships and trust. This is especially critical now with recent events."

Maycumber's legislation creates a two-year grant program to encourage a broader diversity of candidates seeking careers in law enforcement, specifically targeting traditionally underrepresented communities.

"For some communities, a career in law enforcement isn't something that feels like an option," said Maycumber. "We need to reach into these underserved communities and show them that this is an honorable profession - that serving their communities in this role is a possibility."

Maycumber noted several local law enforcement agencies are behind on retention and recruitment goals, with many officers leaving the force or retiring.

"There were several bills that passed this session that will make it harder to recruit good candidates for law enforcement. When we make the profession of law enforcement less desirable, we get less-desirable candidates," said Maycumber. "This legislation will help embrace the community policing shift that's needed as we reach out to communities and get a more diverse, broad range of recruits.

"If we're going to stem the tide of low numbers of officers responding to a high number of dispatched calls, we need to increase the good, quality candidates seeking this as a profession," said Maycumber. "We can do this by pulling from communities that may have been overlooked in the past."

Maycumber's bill was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on April 16. It takes effect on July 25, 2021.


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