Pasco as potential police academy, Inslee announces police expansion

PASCO, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee said he’s investing in Washington law enforcement by looking to expand police training all over the state. He spoke Thursday at the Criminal Justice Training Commission in Burien, Washington.

Governor Inslee hopes to do this by creating regional training campuses. Officials said they want to ‘promote expansion to regional campuses to improve public safety.’ They said they will do this by reducing waitlists and reducing law enforcement vacancies.

This also includes potential locations in Vancouver, Everett and Bellingham. The closest Police Academy to the Tri-Cities is Spokane, but state training is in Burien.

Pasco as a location for a new Police Academy?

The Governor’s Office and State Training Commission visited the Pasco Regional Training Center. It was then discussed as a site for a police academy in early July.

Officials said they are in support of this motion. They said law enforcement won’t have to travel to the west side to get their training. Chief Roske said there are some people who want to be officers, but can’t relocate for the months of training.

“They don’t have the opportunity to relocate someplace for four and a half months, away from their family,” said Chief Roske at the conference.

He said having people train closer to home also benefits the cities where they work.

‘It doesn’t do any good if they can’t get the training.’

“(They’ll have) a better understanding of the communities that they’re going to serve as they lead and become effective police officers throughout the state.

Lieutenant Ryan Kelly with the KPD said he the governor’s actions are encouraging.

“I think the governor recognizes that police departments across the state are having a staffing shortage, and he is exploring some resources to help police departments,” said Lt. Kelly.

Washington Senator John Lovick said at the conference, “We believe that these training campuses will make recruitment easier, and lessen the burden on our trainees who have to travel long hours for training.”

Gov. Inslee said shortages within departments can be fixed by speeding up police training. He said having regional locations will create officers who know the communities they’d be serving in. It would also increase police officer recruitment, he said.

“For those who want to keep officers safe and the public safe in interactions, the single best thing you can do is have a well trained officer,” Gov. Inslee said.

As for the Tri-Cities, the chief is more than prepared for Pasco to grow.

“In the Tri-Cities, the Pasco campus stands ready to be a regional Academy.”

READ: Tri-Cities police departments actively recruiting to raise low staffing levels

READ: Inslee to announce proposal expanding training, support for new officer recruitment