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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Washington State Patrol

A new class of troopers

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Patrol swore in 27 new troopers Wednesday, graduates of the 101st class from the agency's academy.

State Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst administered the oath of office as Gov. Jay Inslee, Chief John Batiste and family members watching from the railings on two upper floors looked on.

Watch for them soon in a patrol car near you.

WA Lege Day 88: Outside the gov’s office

OLYMPIA — A few minutes after 13 demonstrators were arrested and taken to another part of the Capitol, state troopers formed a line outside the governor's office.

Legislators to State Patrol: Stop gun dealer ‘fishing expedition’

OLYMPIA – Three dozen legislators are taking the Washington State Patrol to task for sending a letter to gun dealers that they fear is an unconstitutional “fishing expedition.”
The patrol, which is searching for one of its semiautomatic rifles that might be stolen, concedes the letter from an investigator “was not as well worded as it should be,” WSP spokesman Bob Calkins said. “We touched a never we had no intention of touching”. . .


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Bikers win a round

OLYMPIA – One of the surest things about this legislative session is that police officers will be honored.
The only real question is how many proposals, from better pension benefits for slain officers’ families to constitutional amendments to keep more bad guys in jail, will be buttressed by references to six officers killed in two months on the West Side.
Opposition to one bill was denounced last week as an invitation for Washington to be the “cop killer capital of the country.” Should a resolution be introduced to beatify all six, the only likely argument would be whether they should skip the interim step and go straight to sainthood.
With this increased attention to law enforcement, it’s possible the most surprised group to make a pilgrimage to the Capitol last week were bikers. Not the kind of bikers who pedal, but the kind who don leather and “get their motors running.”
A couple dozen bikers, some in the colors of their individual motorcycle clubs, showed up at a hearing of the House Public Safety Committee, asking for a law protecting them from the cops.
They told of being targeted by police, stopped for no apparent reason, searched, questioned and generally harassed simply because they ride around on two wheels instead of four. They call it profiling, and liken it to what minorities, particularly young black males driving nice cars in predominantly white neighborhoods, complain about.
It’s illegal to profile minorities, it should be illegal to profile motorcycle riders, the bikers said.

Pull over, sonny

The Washington State Patrol is hiring. The woman’s voice on the radio ad seems to be offering an interesting job opportunity, but the line at the end of her pitch is a bit surprising.

“If you’re between the ages of 18-and-a-half and 65. . .”

Wait a minute. How many troopers get started at 65?

None, actually, because 65 is mandatory retirement age for the state patrol, said Sgt. Freddy Williams, the public information officer for the patrol. In theory a recruit could enter the academy in their early 60s and work a few years, or months, until Social Security kicks in.

In practice, it’s highly unlikely. A recruit must score better than 40 percent of the general public in a physical fitness test called the Cooper Standards just to get in the academy, and better than 60 percent of the public upon completion of that course.

When Williams joined the patrol in 1987, he was the oldest recruit the agency ever had, at 37. Since that time, recruits who were 50 have made it, but they tended to be retired military personnel in good physical shape, he said.

So why even say 65? “That’s the mandatory retirement age established by the Legislature,” Williams said. To rule out anyone that age or younger is age discrimination.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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