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AGO Opinions with Topic: LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGO 1990 No. 4 >  May 24, 1990
SHERIFF - LAW ENFORCEMENT - CITIES AND TOWNS - CONTRACTS - INTERLOCAL COOPERATION ACT - COUNTIES
SHERIFF ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- CONTRACTS ‑- INTERLOCAL COOPERATION ACT ‑- COUNTIES 1.  The county sheriff's duty to enforce state law applies equally in incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county.  2.  If a city is unable to provide for adequate police protection, the county sheriff must take this factor into account in allocating the resources of the sheriff's office.  However, the statutes do not obligate the sheriff to provide a city with a specific number of police officers or a specific level of police services.  3.  If a city wants to obtain a specific number of county police officers or level of police services, the Interlocal Cooperation Act empowers the city to contract with the county to provide those services.
AGO 1980 No. 20 >  October 10, 1980
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - CITY - POLICE - COUNTY - SHERIFF - LAW ENFORCEMENT - COMMUNICATIONS
RECORDING OF EMERGENCY PHONE CALLS TO A POLICE AGENCY (1) Under the provisions of chapter 9.73 RCW, the "incoming phone calls" exception in RCW 9.73.090(1)(a) does permit a police agency to record those incoming calls which are not of an "emergency" nature(2) Assuming the foregoing, however, care must be taken in applying the "incoming phone calls" exception in RCW 9.73.090(1)(a) where the call is received by a police agent who has deliberately induced a criminal suspect, not yet arrested or formally charged, to make an incoming call to the police agency; there, wherever the spirit or the letter of the statute dictates taped mutual consent or judicial authorization prior to recording a telephone conversation with a criminal suspect, the "incoming calls" exception could well be held inapplicable even if single party consent is present.(3) The several statutory exceptions to the Privacy Act set forth in RCW 9.73.030(2), RCW 9.73.090(1)(a), RCW 9.73.090(1)(b) and RCW 9.73.090(2) do not overlap each other in such a way as to render any such exception(s) totally duplicative of another and therefore unnecessary and superfluous.
AGO 1989 No. 19 >  October 23, 1989
FIREARMS - AUCTION OF FIREARMS - CITIES AND TOWNS - SHERIFF - STATE PATROL - LAW ENFORCEMENT
FIREARMS ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT ‑- STATE PATROL ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- AUCTION OF FIREARMS In order to comply with the auction requirements of RCW 9.41.098, a law enforcement agency must conduct its initial auction of firearms within one year after accumulating ten "forfeited" firearms as defined in the statute, excluding any firearms which the agency is legally entitled to retain for its own use; agencies which have not accumulated ten "forfeited" firearms may use their own discretion in deciding when to conduct an auction.
AGO 1995 No. 11 >  August 30, 1995
LAW ENFORCEMENT - CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES - PUBLIC FUNDS - USE OF PROCEEDS FROM FORFEITURE OF PROPERTY USED IN ILLEGAL DRUG ACTIVITY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY NOT RELATED EXCLUSIVELY TO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
LAW ENFORCEMENT - CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES - PUBLIC FUNDS - USE OF PROCEEDS FROM FORFEITURE OF PROPERTY USED IN ILLEGAL DRUG ACTIVITY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY NOT RELATED EXCLUSIVELY TO CONTROLLED... RCW 69.50.505(i) allows the use of drug proceeds for activities that relate to controlled substances but incidentally further other law enforcement purposes.
AGLO 1978 No. 6 >  March 6, 1978
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - WASHINGTON STATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE TRAINING COMMISSION - LAW ENFORCEMENT - ADMINISTRATION OF TESTS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- WASHINGTON STATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE TRAINING COMMISSION ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT ‑- ADMINISTRATION OF TESTS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission does not presently possess the legal authority to administer qualifying examinations to all persons seeking appointment or employment to positions in law enforcement within the various local communities of the state.
AGLO 1978 No. 18 >  June 1, 1978
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - WASHINGTON STATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE TRAINING COMMISSION - LAW ENFORCEMENT - INDIANS - TRAINING INDIAN TRIBAL POLICE OFFICERS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- WASHINGTON STATE CRIMINAL JUSTICE TRAINING COMMISSION ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT ‑- INDIANS ‑- TRAINING INDIAN TRIBAL POLICE OFFICERS

(1) Indian tribal police officers do not constitute "law enforcement personnel" for the purposes of chapter 43.101 RCW so as to require the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission to provide them with open access to its basic law enforcement training programs without charge unless they have also been cross-commissioned or deputized as city police officers or deputy county sheriffs.

(2) The Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission may, however, in its discretion enter into an interlocal cooperation agreement under chapter 39.34 RCW with a federally-recognized Indian tribe to provide law enforcement training to tribal police personnel.

AGO 2010 No. 1 >  January 6, 2010
LAW ENFORCEMENT - LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
Use Of Asset Forfeiture Funds For Accreditation And Reaccreditation Of Law Enforcement Agencies Law enforcement agencies can use the net proceeds of asset forfeitures under RCW 10.105.010 for accreditation, reaccreditation, and necessary associated training which serves to improve law enforcement activity, provided that such funding does not supplant existing funding sources.  However, assets forfeited pursuant to other statutes for which the use of funds is more tightly restricted can only be used for accreditation and training  purposes, if the subject matter is closely related to the purposes of the applicable forfeiture statute.
AGO 2014 No. 8 >  November 24, 2014
LAW ENFORCEMENT - PRIVACY - RECORDING CONVERSATIONS
Video And Audio Recording Of Communications Between Citizens And Law Enforcement Officers Using Body Cameras Attached To Police Uniforms

 

  1. The Washington Privacy Act, RCW 9.73, does not require the consent of a law enforcement officer to use body cameras attached to police uniforms. A local collective bargaining agreement, however, might limit or prohibit such use.
     
  2. Conversations between law enforcement officers and members of the public are not generally considered private for purposes of the Privacy Act.
     
  3. As a general matter, the Privacy Act does not require a law enforcement officer to cease recording a conversation at the request of a citizen, because such conversations are not private to begin with.
     
  4. In order to use a recording as evidence in a criminal or civil case, the recording would be subject to the same laws and rules governing all evidence, including the requirement that the chain of custody be established to prove no tampering has occurred. Laws relating to the retention and disclosure of public records, including records retention schedules, would govern retention and disclosure of recordings.
     
  5. RCW 9.73.090 does not limit the use of body cameras to the use of such cameras in conjunction with vehicle-mounted cameras.  
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