Dear Mayors, County Executive, and City Council Members,
When Bellingham, Lynden, Blaine, and Whatcom County renegotiate their collective bargaining agreements in 2021 with their respective law enforcement unions, we have a rare opportunity to take meaningful action to improve police accountability. That is why we call on you to ensure that the new collective bargaining agreements include critical provisions. Based on national research of key problems in police contracts, we urge you to negotiate for the following changes:
- Eliminate any provisions removing written reprimands (including their descriptions) or other evidence of misconduct from personnel files. (Bellingham and Whatcom County)
- Remove any language that delays a written statement or interrogation when law enforcement employees are investigated for misconduct, using deadly force, etc. (Bellingham and Whatcom County)
- End the process of providing those under investigation copies of signed documents or transcripts of the interview. (Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Blaine)
- Ensure individuals or boards accountable to the public have the final say in arbitration. (all current contracts)
- Remove the obligation for cities to pay for officers’ legal fees. (Lynden and Blaine)
Negotiating for these changes in the various union contracts will demonstrate to the people of Whatcom County that you take police accountability and public safety seriously. This is a critical moment in our history, and we’re counting on you to fight for us at the negotiating table.
Add your name by completing the form below.
Lee Che Leong
Emily Yale Wynne
Jesi Van Leeuwen
David J Beaumier
Charlton “Peach” Tarver
Arrissia Owen Turner