Yakima, I – Senate Bill 5352 is heading to the Washington House for further consideration on relaxing law enforcement restrictions before officers can engage in vehicle tracking.
The bill aims to help law enforcement respond to criminals before they endanger public safety. Under current law, officers can only pursue vehicles they believe have reasonable suspicion of violent sex crimes or driving under the influence.
The proposed change would allow officers to pursue suspects with reasonable suspicion of violent, sexual, assault, vehicle assault, getaway or DUI crimes. Police officers must be trained in vehicle tracking and alert supervisors before chasing.
SB 5352 will give officers the opportunity to use their judgment to engage in investigations, which was repealed by current law in 2021.
“Someone persuaded legislators that it was a good idea to do this like a laundry list instead of making judgments on the ground. We had to stand by those bad decisions.” . .
The bill passed the state Senate by a vote of 26 to 23.
State Senate Republican Leader John Brown (R) voted against the bill, saying more could be done about the situation.
“It will never be enough to address the situation in the state where we are facing the lawlessness we are seeing as a result of the bill passed by the Democratic-majority Senate in 2021.
One of his concerns relates to the fact that nothing is included in the bill on vehicle theft, which he said is a big problem in Washington.
Brown promised that Republicans are still working on the bill to make adjustments that benefit the state as a whole.