Some police chiefs in Washington state want more power to get rid of cops who lie or commit crimes. Lawmakers today began considering a bill that would give a state commission more power to de-certify officers.
Among those speaking in favor — Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell. He described how one of his officers was fired and then convicted of assaulting a man in the back of his patrol car. That officer was later reinstated by an arbitrator.
Unions that represent rank and file officers testified against the bill. Their concern is that the new rules could circumvent the existing arbitration process and tip the delicate balance between management and labor rights toward management.