With multiple new laws on policing set to take effect statewide on Sunday, July 25, law enforcement across the state have been warning of potential unintended consequences and confusion over contradictory and sometimes vague language in a few of the bills that some warn could ultimately be a threat to both officer and public safety.
“This is taking 150 years of American policing and basically throwing it out and starting over,” said one veteran officer from a large agency in Puget Sound who asked to remain anonymous.
Individual agencies have issued their own warnings, including the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, while others, such as the Seattle Police Department, say the new laws will have limited impact on their officers because much of the policy is in line what they do already.
On Thursday, Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins issued a highly critical review and implementation plan of the new laws.
“These new laws were not passed by a vote of the people, but by legislators who to varying degrees did not constructively collaborate with various law enforcement groups during the legislative process,” Atkins wrote in a flash alert.
“Our concern is that the new legislation will have some unintentional consequences that could put the public and police officers in jeopardy. I expect that people could see a reduced police response and extended investigations as a result. I expect that despite our best efforts to the contrary, Clark County could be on a trajectory now to see the same type of increased crime and violence that

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