The Justice System Committee reviewed police union contracts up for negotiation. Bellingham, Blaine, and Lynden will negotiate police union contracts in fall 2021. Ferndale and Whatcom County contracts will renew in 2022.
Learn about the minimum changes needed to ensure accountability to the public by reading these summaries prepared for Whatcom County law enforcement agencies.
Bellingham Police Department Union Contract Summary
Blaine Police Department Union Contract Summary
Ferndale Police Department Union Contract Summary (coming soon!)
Lynden Police Union Contract Summary
Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Union Contract Summary
Help increase police accountability in your community, contact your city executives, council members, and law enforcement leaders to demand these much-needed improvements.
(last updated: May 21, 2021)
Since January, the Justice System Committee has been tracking justice-system related bills filed during the 2021 legislative session. All bills listed below have been signed into law.
- HB 1001 – Authorizes the development of a 2-year grant program to encourage a broader diversity of candidates to seek careers in law enforcement. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- HB 1054 – Requires law enforcement agencies impose new training and policies for vehicular pursuits; bans using chokeholds and neck restraints; establishes guidelines for using tear gas; requires developing a model policy for using police dogs to apprehend or arrest people; bans acquiring or using certain specified military equipment; and prohibits concealing badge identification information. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- HB 1088 – Requires law enforcement agencies to report officer misconduct, affecting credibility or any act of an officer that may be exculpatory to a criminal defendant, to prosecuting authorities. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- HB 1089 – Requires the State Auditor to review completed deadly force investigations and allows the State Auditor to audit entire departments for compliance with standards. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- HB 1109 – Expands the statutory rights for sexual assault survivors and requires status updates on cases tied to previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits collected prior to July 2015. Effective date: 4/26/2021
- HB 1267 – Establishes the Office of Independent Investigations to investigate deadly force incidents involving officers. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- HB 1310 – Requires the Attorney General to develop model use of force and de-escalation tactics that law enforcement agencies must adopt. Authorizes using tear gas only to alleviate risk of serious harm during a riot. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5051 – Establishes the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to create and administer standards and processes for certification, suspension, and decertification of officers. Removes confidentiality of complaints, investigations, and disciplinary actions; and requires it be maintained on a public database. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5055 – Standardizes and improves arbitrator selection procedures and prevents law enforcement personnel from entering into a contract that prohibits civilian review of officer disciplinary actions. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5066 – Requires an officer to report another officer’s misconduct and immediately intervene when another officer is using excessive force. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5259 – Requires reporting, collecting, and publishing information about law enforcement use-of-force interactions with the communities they serve. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5263 – Repeals existing laws that create hurdles for police accountability and prevent families and victims from recovering monetary damages. Effective date: 7/25/2021
Incarceration and Re-Entry
- HB 1044 – Expands opportunities for postsecondary education in prisons; requires an annual report on recidivism rates post release for those in these programs; and requires the Dept. of Corrections accommodate those with learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and cognitive impairments. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- HB 1078 – Automatically restores voting rights to felons after they’ve completed a total confinement sentence. Effective date 1/1/2022.
- HB 1295 – Enhances educational institutions’ ability to extend academic credit for language and general education to youth in or released from secure facilities. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5119 – Requires the Dept. of Corrections to investigate any unexpected death during incarceration and publish a report within 120 days. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5304 – Expands the Medicaid suspension policy to include correctional institutions, state hospitals, and other treatment facilities. Requires full reinstatement of Medicaid benefits upon release from confinement. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- HB 1140 – Provides juveniles access to an attorney before waiving constitutional rights. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5118 – Expands the Intrastate Detainer Act to include persons incarcerated in juvenile rehabilitation facilities and allows individuals to request to resolve untried warrants in district and municipal court. Effective date: 7/25/2021
- SB 5226 – Removes the option to suspend a person’s driver’s license for a traffic infraction, for failing to respond within 15 days, or for failing to appear at a hearing. Provides an option to enter into a penalty payment plan if a person is unable to pay. Effective date: 1/1/2023
- SB 5038 – Makes it a gross misdemeanor to open carry a firearm at or within 25 feet of a public demonstration, the west state capitol grounds, capital grounds buildings, and other legislative locations. Effective date: 5/12/2021