February 17, 2021
OLYMPIA — The Washington Fraternal Order of Police (WAFOP) issued the following statement today by President Marco Monteblanco:
“The Washington Fraternal Order of Police has worked closely with Rep. My-Linh Thai to ensure House Bill 1202 includes sufficient legal protection for peace officers. If approved, House Bill 1202 would establish a new state standard for qualified immunity to replace the current federal regulations.
Rep. Thai has been responsive to the concerns we raised about earlier versions of the bill and has now incorporated specific language that protects peace officers in the event their actions were in line with existing policy or were the result of a supervisor’s direct order. This language has not only improved the bill significantly, but also made it better than qualified immunity laws enacted or under consideration in other states.
While we do not believe the current version of the bill is perfect, there is additional time in the legislative process, and we are confident that continued engagement is the best way to continue improving it. As of now, we are strongly encouraged that the proposal is moving in the right direction, and we look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Thai, other legislators, and other law enforcement stakeholders to enact a bill that provides meaningful protections for law enforcement officers under the law.”