Bellevue–This week, WAGOP Chairman Jim Walsh unveiled Republicans’ plan to fight crime in Washington. “The citizens of Washington state should always feel safe in their homes, their communities, and at work,” said Chairman Walsh. “Olympia and D.C. have failed the people of Washington on public safety.”
The WAGOP principles to fighting crime in Washington State:
- Protect Citizens
- Get Back to Prosecuting Criminals
- Support Practical Rehabilitation
- Champion Law Enforcement
- Restore Safe Neighborhoods
- According to a report from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), murders in Washington increased by 96% between 2019 and 2022.
- Washington has the fewest police officers and deputies per capita of any state in the country.
- Washington is ranked third highest for total car thefts—and that number is rising.
- Between 2015 and 2021, rape increased by 51%—and that number is also rising.
“Soft on crime” and “defunding the police” rhetoric and policies promoted by Democrat lawmakers and liberal judges are to blame. Our criminal justice system is empowering criminals, not protecting citizens. As Republican state legislator Rep. Dan Griffey stated recently: “People that would do harm to society know the rules now, and they’re playing by it.”
In Olympia, GOP lawmakers were able to help restore some measure of common sense by making fixes to recent anti-cop and drug-possession laws. They are committed to protecting WA citizens and fighting crime to make our neighborhoods safe again. But there’s more work to do.
WAGOP’s plan to fight crime includes the following policy proposals:
Hire more law enforcement officers—not community safety officers, not social workers. And provide those police officers ample support. The anti-police rhetoric needs to stop. According to War on Cops author Heather Mac Donald, there is no epidemic of fatal police shootings against unarmed Americans. And yet, that is all we hear from the media and Democrat politicians.
Allow police officers to pursue criminals and defend themselves. WAGOP has endorsed I-2113, which would allow reasonable vehicular police pursuits. Having more police officers establishes a visible community presence to create positive relationships. This prevents crimes from occurring.
Celebrate law enforcement professionals, don’t denigrate them. For the past several legislative terms, Democrats in Olympia and D.C. have disparaged sheriff’s deputies and police. This affects how the media—and even some impressionable young people—treat law enforcement officers. And it isn’t good. We need to restore positive interactions between the public and police.
Get back to prosecuting criminals. We need to fix our criminal justice system. Too many local prosecutors have become politicians first. Their focus needs to be on protecting their communities. We cannot afford criminals roaming free in our streets creating more crime and chaos. We need to prosecute crime and get criminals off the street.
Enforce strong bail and parole processes. When felons are released without bail and/or strong parole accountability, they quickly re-offend. It is critical to call out bail funds, like Northwest Community Bail Fund. Michael Sendejo, 51, was found guilty by a jury in a King County court of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon— after NCBF bailed him out of jail, following his arraignment in 2021.
Left-wing policies that started in Seattle have spread across Washington through radicalized city councils, activist legislators in Olympia, and prosecutors who refuse to prosecute. The WAGOP and Republican lawmakers in Olympia are committed to restoring safety in our streets and stopping repeat offenders.
Victims of violent crime do not have peace of mind that their attackers will be brought to justice. Police officers are now the ones “handcuffed” as radical lawmakers curtail their ability to pursue criminals. At the same time, the prospects for our youth decline as they fall into drugs, gangs, and homelessness.