Legislature honors slain officers, House acts on related safety bills

 

The state Senate and House of Representatives paid tribute Wednesday to six Puget Sound area law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty between last Oct. 31 and Christmas.

As family members and representatives of Washington law enforcement agencies looked on from the gallery, the House approved a resolution (HR 4679) honoring the fallen officers, and observed a moment of silence.

For 8th District Rep. Brad Klippert, a Benton County sheriff's deputy, it was a particularly poignant floor session. In his remarks on the resolution, he paid an emotional homage to the victims and their families.

“Mr. Speaker, you and I get to go home tonight and sleep peacefully, knowing that law enforcement officers are out there keeping us and our families safe,” he said. “I want to thank my brothers and sisters in law enforcement, with whom I stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and say that what's happened in the past only strengthens our resolve to fight harder, to be stronger, to keep Washington state safe. To the families and friends of those who have lost their lives, on behalf of all the citizens of our state, we thank you, and our prayers are with you.”

The House went on to pass a series of public safety bills, including:

•    HB 2625 – Would allow judges leeway to determine whether bail is appropriate for offenders arrested and in custody on felony charges.

•    HB 1203 – Would increase penalties for rendering criminal assistance.

•    HB 2422 – Would expand and clarify the list of state and local agencies and private individuals that must be notified when a felon committed to a mental health facility escapes or disappears.

•    HB 1679 – Would increase benefits for law enforcement officers and firefighters who are injured on the job and suffer permanent disabilities.

•   HB 2519 – Would enhance death benefits for the survivors of law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty.

Klippert has introduced his own package of bills addressing law enforcement and public safety issues, and is a co-sponsor of the Lakewood Police Officers Memorial Act HB 4220, which is scheduled for a House vote on Friday.

“I am proud of my career as a law enforcement officer, and I value above almost everything else in my life, the relationships – personal and professional – among my brothers and sisters who protect the safety of our citizens and communities,” he said.

As he left the House chamber Wednesday, Klippert said he was gratified by what had been accomplished during the day's floor session.

“The tragedies that occurred in Seattle and Pierce County focused my resolve for the session to make the law enforcement profession safer, and the citizens and communities of Washington more secure,” he concluded.

 

For more information, contact: Bill Taylor, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7074

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov