The state would enact the recommendations of a legislative task force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing, under legislation passed today on a bipartisan vote of the Senate Law & Justice Committee.

Senate Bill 5073, sponsored by state Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, incorporates the conclusions of a diverse group of representatives from law enforcement, public defenders, prosecutors, civil rights groups, community representatives and legislators, most of which received strong support in the task force deliberations.

“The bipartisan vote in the Law & Justice committee today is significant in that it shows our efforts to reach common ground on this vital issue are taking root,” Frockt said. “Statutory changes on ‘malice’ and ‘good faith’ are only a part of the bill. Equally important is that we ensure our hard-working law enforcement officers have the best training and resources available in order to reduce and deescalate encounters that could lead to the use of deadly force.”

The recommendations are the result of legislation passed in 2016 that charged the task force with: reviewing laws, practices and training programs regarding the use of deadly force; reviewing existing policies, practices and tools available to law enforcement as an alternative to deadly force; and recommending best practices to reduce the number of violent interactions between law enforcement officers and members of the public.

“This is a first step but an important one,” Frockt said. “I know of no other state that is moving in this direction on a statewide basis.”