FINAL BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
C 127 L 19
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Improving law enforcement response to missing and murdered Native American women.
Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Mosbrucker, Gregerson, Caldier, Dye, Barkis, Corry, Sells, Lekanoff, Schmick, Orwall, Chandler, Hudgins, Ryu, Frame, Jinkins, Ortiz-Self, Peterson, Stanford, Van Werven, Tarleton, Valdez, Macri, Pollet and Leavitt).
House Committee on Public Safety
House Committee on Appropriations
Senate Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections
Senate Committee on Ways & Means
The Washington State Patrol (WSP) Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit provides services related to reporting and investigating missing persons. Such services include a 24-hour telephone service for reporting missing persons, poster distribution and research assistance to local law enforcement and family members, and coordination of investigative resources with state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Pursuant to legislation enacted in 2018, the WSP is required to conduct a study on increasing state resources for reporting and identifying missing Native American women in the state. The WSP and the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs must convene meetings with tribal and local law enforcement partners, federally recognized tribes, and urban Indian organizations to determine the scope of the problem, identify barriers, and explore ways of creating partnerships for improved reporting and investigation. The WSP also must work with the federal Department of Justice to increase information sharing and coordinate resources.
The WSP must report the results of the study to the Legislature by June 1, 2019. The study must include: data on the number of missing Native American women in the state; any barriers to providing more state resources to the issue of missing Native American women; and recommendations, including proposed legislation to address the problem.
Two liaison positions for missing and murdered Indigenous women and other Indigenous persons are established within the WSP. One liaison must reside in Western Washington, and one liaison must reside in Eastern Washington. To be eligible for hire as a liaison, an applicant must have significant experience living in tribal or urban Indigenous communities.
The liaisons must work to build relationships to increase trust between governmental organizations and native communities. Specifically, the liaisons must facilitate communications among:
Indian tribes and tribal organizations and communities;
urban Indian organizations and communities;
tribal liaisons in other state agencies;
law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, local, and tribal level; and
nongovernmental entities that provide services to Native American women.
The WSP must develop a best practices protocol for law enforcement response to missing persons reports for Indigenous women and other Indigenous persons. The protocol must include steps that law enforcement should take upon receiving a missing persons report for an Indigenous woman or other Indigenous person.
The Governor's Office of Indian Affairs must provide the WSP with government-to-government training.
Votes on Final Passage:
July 28, 2019