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Initiative gives more leeway on police pursuits

Lawmakers follow the lead of voters

OLYMPIA — Just three years after the Legislature implemented restrictions on police pursuits, lawmakers backtracked after an initiative received overwhelming voter support.

The new rules on engaging in high-speed pursuits become law June 5.

“As you know, the people of the state are suffering, increasing rates of crime, property, crime, violent crime,” said Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen. “When I talked to cops and sheriff’s deputies, they told me the one thing more than anything else that we need is the ability to chase bad people.”

Under that standard, vehicular pursuits were limited to when offi...


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