The Washington State Legislature enacted a series of new policing laws during the 2021 legislative session, some that change the way law enforcement services are delivered. Local governments and law enforcement agencies across the state, including the City of Bellingham, are working to adjust to the impacts of these change, some of which became effective on July 25, 2021.
Additional information will be added to this page as the new laws take effect and as we learn more and make plans to address impacts.
- 2021 legislative session delivers significant new policing laws (July 27, 2021 news release)
Bellingham Police in compliance with some new laws
It also is important to know that Bellingham Police was already in compliance with many of the new laws prior to their enactment, including:
- Use of Force Data Collection (SB5259): This requires agencies to report on use of force during a specific list of instances and requires gathering information related to the incident and report that to the state. Bellingham Police already gathers this information and needed only to add minimal data points to comply with new legislation. Monthly use of force reports can be found on the Use of Force Statistics page.
- Duty to Intervene (SB5066): This establishes requirements for reporting excessive force/wrongdoing and rendering aid. Bellingham Police already has a policy covering this, which only will only require minimal changes to comply with the new law.
- To ask questions or provide feedback, please visit our Engage Bellingham public engagement project site addressing 2021 Law Enforcement Legislation.
- For more information, or to schedule a group presentation, please contact the Bellingham Police Department.