Vote YES on I-940: Improve Training, Save Lives

by Matt Landers, Public Policy Manager
| Oct 15, 2018

Deescalate WA logoGSBA supports Initiative 940 and encourages all our members to vote YES.

Ballot summary: This measure would require all law enforcement officers in the state to receive violence de-escalation and mental health training, as developed by the criminal justice training commission. It would require law enforcement personnel to provide first-aid to save lives and require law enforcement agencies to adopt guidelines for implementing this duty. It would amend the standard for justifiable use of deadly force by law enforcement, including adding a “good faith” standard and requiring independent investigation.

GSBA supports this ballot initiative because it is an important reform to our state's laws, adding public safety measures to save lives and make our communities safer. This initiative:
  • Requires training for violence de-escalation, mental health, and first aid.
  • Provides that police should render first aid at the scene.
  • Applies a good faith standard for use of deadly force and removes de-facto immunity.
  • Requires completely independent investigations of the use of deadly force when there is injury or death.
  • Brings diverse community stakeholders to the table for the development of standards and curriculum.
  • Includes Tribal governments in investigations where a tribal person was injured or killed.
Along with the De-Escalate Washington coalition, GSBA supported the Legislature's efforts to craft an alternative piece of legislation (ESHB 3003) along with law enforcement. Unfortunately the State Supreme Court ruled that the alternative was not properly passed, and that Initiative 940 must appear on the November ballot. GSBA continues to support I-940 at the ballot, and will support De-Escalate Washington's efforts to enact the policies proposed in ESHB 3003 next year. 

Other Endorsements:
King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, Black Law Enforcement Association of Washington, Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel (ret.), Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper (ret.), Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, ACLU Washington, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violance, Disability Rights Washington, El Centro de la Raza, Equal Rights Washington, FUSE Washington, Ingersoll Gender Center, King County Bar Association, Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, Leave of Women Voters Washington, Moms Rising, NAACP Washington State, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Washington State, OneAmerica, Planned Parenthood, Seattle Gay News, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, Tabor 100, YouthCare, and many more.

More resources:
De-Escalate Washington campaign website