What is LETCSA?
After the passage of the I-940 legislation in 2018, the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) was given the task to create and adopt rules for the training requirements of the legislation and establish criteria for independent investigations of deadly force.
In December of 2019, WSCJTC completed a majority of this process and began releasing their guidance to law enforcement agencies in the State of Washington. The WSCJTC renamed this legislation to LETCSA, the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act.
Learn more about this process on the WSCJTC website.
How will OPD implement LETCSA?
WSCJTC has prescribed the following topics to be incorporated into each law enforcement officers training:
- Patrol tactics (de-escalation training and first aid)
- Historical intersection of race and policing
- Alternatives to booking
- Implicit and explicit bias training
- Building respectful relationships with people
- Understanding local cultures
The WSCJTC has created the Patrol Tactics portion of this training and we are training our department Trainers in this curriculum this year. WSCJTC will be developing the remaining training blocks over the course of 2020.
We are proud to report that before the passage of LETCSA we had already incorporated many of these topics into our law enforcement officers training programs. As WSCJTC creates more training resources related to these topics, we will be adding them to our training program.
Officer-involved deadly force investigations
LETCSA has created guidelines and criteria to define an investigation that is both thorough and transparent. Some of the highlights are:
- The addition of non-law enforcement, local community members to the investigative team
- The creation of a training certification process for Lead Investigators
- Guidance for information an agency can or can’t share with the public
- Assurance that the law enforcement agency whose officer used force is not involved in the investigation
Learn more about these critical investigations under LETSCA on the WSCJTC website.
For many years, local officer-involved uses of deadly force have been investigated by a team of Detectives from the Tumwater, Lacey, and Olympia Police Departments. We are pleased that many of the recommendations within LETCSA are already in place and operational on our local team. We are currently in the process of refreshing our team protocols to match the LETCSA guidelines.
Our timeline for this work is as follows:
|1st qtr. 2020
Chiefs identify Team Leadership
Chiefs outline community member selection process
Investigative Team Leadership begins refreshing team protocols
|2nd qtr. 2020
Selection of community members
Training of community members
Review of 1st draft of updated protocols
|3rd qtr. 2020
Identification of investigative team detectives
Selection of Lead Investigators
|4th qtr. 2020
Update training of investigators on team
Certification of Lead Investigators
Completion of protocols