With the passage of Washington State Initiative 940 in November 2018 and SHB 1064 in 2019, incidents where the use of deadly force by a peace officer results in death, substantial bodily harm, or great bodily harm require an independent investigation. The independent investigation is conducted in the same manner as a criminal investigation and state law requires an “independent investigation” completely independent of the involved agency. The goal of this requirement is to enhance accountability and increase trust between law enforcement and the community.
The Independent Investigative Team (IIT) will consist of a team of qualified and certified peace officer investigators and at least two Non-Law Enforcement Community Representatives who operate completely independent of any involved agency to conduct investigations of police deadly force incidents.
The IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representatives should have credibility with, and ties to, the communities impacted by the police use of deadly force. Representatives selected will participate directly in the vetting, interviewing, and/or selection of IIT certified law enforcement investigators, media communications, and use of involved agency equipment requests.
This position will require the community representative to pass a department/agency background check and attend identified training that is relevant to officer-involved deadly force incidents. The Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative must sign a binding confidentiality agreement at the beginning of each investigation.
This is a non-paid volunteer position.
Responsibilities of the Position(s) Include:
1. Participate in the selection of IIT certified law enforcement investigators.
2. Understand and be knowledgeable of statewide best practices involving the investigation of law enforcement use of lethal force investigations and applicable laws as they relate to the use of force and officer involved deadly force incidents.
3. Review and sign a Conflict of Interest Statement.
4. Review and sign a binding Confidentiality Agreement.
5. Attend officer-involved use of deadly force briefings with the involved agency chief executive(s).
6. Review or have access to the investigative file when completed.
7. Receive media communication(s) and press releases prior to their release.
8. Review use of involved agency equipment requests.
Length of Commitment:
Length of commitment to this position is two (2) years. This commitment may be adjusted based upon the needs of the agency and/or the willingness of the Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative to serve. The Chief of the Washington State Patrol will make the final decision on the length of the commitment.
Supervision Received and/or Exercised:
The IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative will work with the assigned leadership team (Commander, Assistant Commander, and/or Lead Investigator) on each assigned use of deadly force incident.
Hours of Commitment:
The hours for this position will vary depending on the incident dynamics and the time and location of briefings, meetings, and needs of the investigation. IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representatives may be called to participate at various and unpredictable hours to include weekends and holidays.
The following are the minimum qualifications for the position of IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative. At the time of application, the applicant shall:
1. Be a resident of the county you are applying for in Washington and provide proof of residency within the county applied for.
2. Be able to maintain a strict confidentiality agreement with each deadly force investigation.
3. Be at least 21 years of age.
4. Have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively perform the duties and responsibilities of the position of IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative.
5. Willing to meet the time and commitments required of an IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative position.
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
The following knowledge, skills, and abilities are essential to be successful in the position of IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative:
1. Have the ability and willingness to learn and understand police use of force policy and laws.
2. Strong oral and written communication skills and the ability to interact effectively with members of police/sheriff agencies, and community.
3. Ability and willingness to maintain confidentiality.
4. Ability and willingness to make sound and well informed decisions.
5. Maintain high standards of ethics and integrity.
6. Ability and willingness to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts in a tactful and effective manner.
The IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative selected for the position may be required to attend relevant training related to the position, which will be provided at no expense.
How to Apply:
Interested, qualified applicants may submit the application materials listed below electronically to IITCommunityRep@wsp.wa.gov. Application materials must be received by Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Application materials received after the deadline will not be considered.
Application materials must consist of:
1. The applicant’s full and complete name, date of birth, residential address, contact phone number(s), and e-mail address.
2. A letter of interest including a narrative identifying what the applicant believes his/her particular strengths and challenges would be in the position of IIT Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative. Letters of interest should be no longer than two pages.
3. An up-to-date professional resume or explanation as to how their life experiences within the community would allow them to perform the responsibilities in an unbiased, neutral and effective manner.
Following the closing date for this recruitment, a selection process will be administered. The Chief of the Washington State Patrol will be the final determiner of selected applicants. Qualified applicants will be notified of their application status at the conclusion of the selection process. This recruitment and selection process will be used to establish a ranked list of qualified candidates.
The above is a press release from WSP. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its content.