PASCO — Sen. John Lovick (D-Mill Creek) attended the opening of the new Criminal Justice Training Center in Pasco on Wednesday.

The center is one of three new regional training facilities planned to open in the state. Clark and Skagit Counties are among the other locations being discussed and are expected to open in the coming months.

Lovick, who served in the Washington State Patrol for 31 years, first proposed establishing regional training complexes in addition to the original facility in Burien a little more than 10 months ago. He said he was thrilled that the idea was able to become reality so quickly and that the next generation of law enforcement officers would be able to learn their craft closer to home.

“What we have in front of us today is an exciting opportunity to further bridge the words ‘community’ and ‘policing.’ When we work to do that, we change the culture of law enforcement and we change what community policing looks like,” Lovick said. “By living closer to where they serve, and with better access to training, these peace officers will undoubtedly change the face of law enforcement.”

An investment of $11.4 million in the 2023-25 operating budget made the establishment of these facilities possible. But for Lovick, partners in the law enforcement community, such as Monica Alexander, the executive director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center, Pasco Chief of Police Ken Roske and others, are who ultimately pushed this cause across the finish line.

“This training facility and the others that are soon to follow are a wonderful, tangible example of what cooperation and a common goal can look like,” Lovick said.