Pacific County residents are able to assist in law enforcement oversight by serving as community representatives if an investigation takes place.
Sheriff Robin Souvenir has sent out a request for non-law-enforcement Community Representatives to serve on the multi-agency Regional Critical Incident Investigation Team (CIIT), comprised of detectives from Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, Pacific and Lewis Counties, as well as the Washington State Patrol.
Law enforcement officer involved shootings resulting in death, substantial bodily harm, or great bodily harm occurring in Pacific County are currently investigated by that team.
This CIIT will, on occasion, assist other non-member agencies with similar-type investigations.
The CIIT is tasked with conducting independent criminal investigations into these events (completely independent of the involved agency), which upon completion are referred to the local prosecutor’s office for review.
Recently passed Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 139-12 Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act — Independent Investigations Criteria (LETCSA) calls for a minimum of two non-law enforcement community representatives that will be assigned to each IIT (Independent Investigative Team).’
According to the WAC, the non-law-enforcement representatives, “should have credibility with and ties to communities impacted by police use of deadly force.’ It goes on to state, “Chiefs and Sheriffs of each regional team shall create a transparent process for soliciting names and creating a roster of individuals willing to serve in this capacity.”
When the WAC protocol is implemented, selected members would assist in the following ways:
- Participate in the vetting, interviewing, and/or selection of IIT investigators
- Review conflict of interest statements by the investigators during each incident
- Be present at briefings with the involved agency’s Chief or Sheriff.
- Have access to the investigation file upon its completion.
- Be provided a copy of all press releases/communication to media prior to release.
- Review notification of equipment use of involved agency.
- Sign a binding confidentiality agreement at the beginning of each investigation in which they are involved.
In accordance with this criteria, the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) is seeking non-law enforcement Pacific County community members interested in being placed on a roster to potentially serve in this capacity. As required, selected representatives may be called upon to assist at various times throughout the year, to include weekends, holidays, and overnight hours.
With the WAC recently taking effect, the need is urgent, those interested in serving in this role should submit their name and contact information, as soon as possible to Sheriff Robin Souvenir of the PCSO by calling (360) 875-9395 or email [email protected].
Those selected to participate in this capacity will be contacted.