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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bill would control behavior on ferries

BREMERTON – The Washington State Patrol is requesting a law to help troopers control inappropriate behavior on state ferries.

The bill introduced Monday by Sen. Kevin Ranker of San Juan Island lists smoking, spitting, littering, playing radios, urinating or defecating in places other than approved plumbing fixtures, carrying firearms or flammable liquids, roller-skating, skateboarding, gambling, trying to pass oneself off as a ferry worker, and letting a pet off its leash as misdemeanors.

That behavior on a state vessel or ferry terminal would bring a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

“When it does happen, we’d like to have something very specific in law that allows us to address it,” said Capt. Jason Berry, legislative liaison.

Berry told the Kitsap Sun ferries were left out of a law that covers behavior on other forms of transit. Troopers can’t arrest ferry riders now unless the behavior rises to disorderly conduct.

For example, troopers have been frustrated that people must keep dogs on leashes in Seattle, but when they enter the Colman Dock, they don’t have to, Berry said. Dogs running loose around the State Patrol’s bomb-sniffing dogs could endanger the animals and humans.

The proposed law would allow troopers to remove somebody before danger escalates, Berry said.

The State Patrol has provided security for Washington state ferries since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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