House OKs Enhanced Training Requirements for Jail Guards

Lawmakers in Olympia say the training given to guards at county and city jails is inadequate, and they’ve got a bill designed fix that.  Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

Corrections officers in state prisons and most other law-enforcement professionals have to take a minimum of 10 weeks of rigorous training to be certified to do their jobs. In contrast, there’s no certification program for local jail guards. They go through four weeks’ training, are issued a firearm, and begin working in situations that are just as challenging as their state counterparts.  Representative Sherry Appleton, a Democrat now in her final term as a state lawmaker, wants to remedy that before she’s done, and her bipartisan bill to do so got a unanimous OK in the state House Tuesday.

APPLETON: “This bill will give them 10 weeks of training at the Criminal Justice Training center, which will bring them up to speed with the other peace officers. It is time that we do this.”

The jail-guard training bill was sent to the Senate Tuesday afternoon, and Appleton says she’s confident that chamber will act in time to hand it over for Governor Inslee’s signature before lawmakers go home for the year on March 12. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.