Camas supports police training facility in Southwest Washington

Police chief says facility ‘could have substantial benefits for Camas’

Camas City Council this week unanimously approved a resolution supporting the creation of a criminal justice training facility in Southwest Washington.

“It is expected that, when the next session of the Washington State Legislature convenes, a bill will be introduced to create regional training sites across the state of Washington for the purpose of providing law enforcement officer and corrections officer training,” Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey told the Camas City Council members on Monday, Sept. 19. “One of these proposed regional training facility sites is in Vancouver.”

Lackey said having a local training facility would help streamline the Camas Police Department’s hiring process.

“It would efficiently allow for our police officers to receive the necessary training and certification,” Lackey stated in his staff report to the Council.

“The state of Washington is responsible for training and certification of all law enforcement officers and corrections officers. It operates the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, and it has a campus in Burien, Washington, where this training is conducted,” Lackey explained. “While there are some advantages to having a standardized training program at one location, there also are some disadvantages.”

Currently, Lackey said, it takes more than five months to train and certify a new police officer in Washington state.

“During that time, the new officer candidates must be away from their home and families,” Lackey said. “Recently, a proposal was made by a member of the legislature to decentralize the law enforcement training by establishing multiple training centers around the state. This proposal was embraced and supported by the Criminal Justice Training Commission as well by Governor (Jay) Inslee.”

Lackey said that, while the proposal is “still only a concept, and many of the details have not yet been worked out, it has merit for exploring, and if adopted into law, could have substantial benefits for the city of Camas.”