No matter where we live or what our backgrounds are, whether we're community members or law enforcement officers, whether we're white, black, or brown - we all believe that no family should have to live through losing a loved one in an avoidable tragedy. The goal of Initiative 940 is to save lives and prevent tragedies by providing all law enforcement officers in Washington with better de-escalation, first aid, and mental health crisis training.
No matter our differences, all of us want to ensure our families, communities, and law enforcement are safe. But today, more Washingtonians are killed in encounters with law enforcement than in 45 other states. No family should have to live through losing a loved one unnecessarily. Voting Yes on Initiative 940 would provide every law enforcement officer in our state with enhanced training in de-escalating tough situations, recognizing mental health crises, and providing first aid response.
Initiative 940 helps protect people struggling with mental illness. Last year, almost a third of those killed by law enforcement in Washington showed signs of a mental health crisis. Initiative 940 provides law enforcement officers with enhanced mental health crisis training that has been proven effective across the country, so that they can better handle difficult situations and both protect themselves and people with mental illness.
Initiative 940 also addresses a big gap in our state law. Voting Yes on 940 would create a fair and independent investigation process after the use of deadly force so families, communities, and law enforcement can receive due process to determine what happened, whether the use of deadly force was necessary, and what could be done to prevent tragic outcomes in the future. It would also update our standards around use of force, replacing our one-in-the-nation standard with fair standards used in 27 other states.
The goal of Initiative 940 is to prevent tragedies from happening in the first place.