KENNEWICK —Oct. 5, 2022 — Marco Monteblanco, president of the Washington Fraternal Order of Police (WAFOP), issued the following statement in response to public comments criticizing the work of law enforcement and police reform efforts.
“The Washington Fraternal Order of Police is the largest and most diverse law enforcement organization in our state representing approximately 3,400 peace officers of every rank, from cadet to management. Every day, our members put on their uniform with the purpose of going out there to serve their communities with honesty and integrity to keep them safe and maintain overall public safety. That is their —and our — top priority,” said Monteblanco.
“Our organization recognizes the changing experiences and contexts governing our profession – the way we keep the public safe and do our jobs will always evolve. As a result, we are challenging our own comfort level with the status quo, being willing to pivot and move forward to help shape community-driven changes in a way that still allows us to do our job safely and effectively. We continue to work collaboratively with a broad array of stakeholders, including Republican and Democrat legislators, victim’s advocacy groups, community organizations and others on police reforms and law enforcement policies.
“While we don’t agree with every statement made by these diverse stakeholders, and we may not agree with every provision of every bill signed into law, we remain committed to working on balanced, workable solutions that enable our members to do their job safely while protecting the communities they serve,” he said.
“The Legislature has acknowledged areas where they need to come back and make some fixes, including the Washington Supreme Court’s Blake decision, which decriminalized personal drug use. We believe this decision has done more to increase crime than any legislative changes to the vehicular pursuit law. And we have respectfully engaged and will continue to work collaboratively with lawmakers in hopes that the FOP is included in these discussions at every step of the legislative process,” he said.
“We have worked cooperatively with Rep. Jesse Johnson on several law enforcement bills and were surprised by his recent comments about law enforcement. We have reached out to him directly asking that he consider clarifying his remarks. As an organization, we believe the most constructive place to hold these conversations about law enforcement and public safety policy is in the legislative arena, not on Twitter,” said Monteblanco.
“Working together on common-sense solutions to our public safety challenges is essential if we want to make any real progress,” he said. “We encourage our partner law enforcement organizations to join us in these efforts.”