The Washington State Senate unanimously voted Tuesday to pass Senate Bill 6242, legislation sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), to increase state funding for the training of law enforcement.

Under current law, the state covers 75 percent of the cost of training a law enforcement officer, while the local law enforcement agency has to reimburse the Criminal Justice Training Commission for the other 25 percent of the cost. SB 6242 changes that, so the state covers 100 percent of the cost of training law enforcement officers.

“This seems like a great idea to make it easier to get cops on the streets and to save our local governments some money,” said Mullet. “We want more police and we want them to be well-trained so they can do a good job of keeping our communities safe. This bill is a part of our broader work on police training – we’ve funded the construction of regional training centers across Washington, so recruits can get trained closer to home, and we’ve worked to increase recruitment and pay for our state troopers too. The fact is, we need to fund the police – and Washington state is moving in the right direction.”

The Criminal Justice Training Commission establishes the standards and processes to certify police officers and other law enforcement personnel. It also conducts training and educational programs, including the Basic Law Enforcement Academy that all law enforcement officers in Washington state go through, as well as other specialized trainings. According to testimony in the Senate Ways & Means Committee, it costs an agency just under $5,000 to send a recruit to training.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.