Re: “Fired, but still a cop: How Washington state’s decertification process leaves troubled officers with their guns” [Aug. 23, Times Watchdog]:
Washingtonians deserve a police certification law that requires police officers to meet reasonable standards of professional competence and training. Washington’s current certification law is a certification law in name only, restricted in its powers and enforced by a poorly funded state board. Forty four states have decertification laws. Our Legislature should conduct a comprehensive review of those laws and cherry pick the best elements.
Our state has a compelling interest in assuring that all Washington police officers meet minimum standards of competence. A doctor, nurse or other health-care practitioner may lose her or his license for unprofessional conduct. Why should police officers, who are authorized to use deadly force, be held to a lower standard of conduct than a doctor or nurse?
Robert S. Klein, Seattle