About LETCSA

LETCSA Overview

In May 2017, Initiative 940 (I-940) was filed with the legislature in an effort to establish higher training requirements and police accountability standards. After filing for approval, the campaign officially began gathering public support. Led by De-Escalate Washington and the Puyallup Tribe, the goals of this campaign were to:

  • Require de-escalation and mental health training for law enforcement.
  • Require first aid training for law enforcement and require that they render first aid at the earliest safe opportunity to injured persons at a scene controlled by law enforcement.
  • Replace the requirement that “malice” must be proven in order to bring criminal charges to a law enforcement officer, with an objective “good faith standard”.
  • Require a completely independent investigation into officer involved uses of deadly force.
  • Require notification and involvement of the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs (GOIA) if a Tribal member is killed or injured in an officer involved use of deadly force.
  • Include community stakeholders from diverse groups in rulemaking discussions.

After working with community organizations and gathering the support of the public, De-Escalate Washington and the Puyallup Tribe delivered 360,000 signatures in support of I-940 to the Office of the Secretary of State. Washington voters passed the initiative in the November 2018 election. I-940 was then modified into Substitute House Bill 1064 (SHB 1064).

Following the passage of I-940 and SHB 1064, the legislation was renamed to the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act (LETCSA). The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) began to work with named statutory stakeholders to create and adopt rules for new officer training requirements (WAC 139-11) and independent investigations criteria for officer involved uses of deadly force (WAC 139-12). These WACs have been adopted and are currently in effect.

The WSCJTC is working diligently to create course curriculum for law enforcement officers and documents to assist the independent investigation teams. As these courses and documents become available, they will be posted to our webpage for public access. For more information about LETCSA please visit our Resources page. If you would like to be placed on our distribution list and receive updates on LETCSA, please use our sign up form.

 

Training

The WSCJTC is currently developing course curriculum mandated by WAC 139-11. Once complete, these courses will be posted to the WSCJTC website and linked on this page.

The following topics will be covered in the training of law enforcement officers:

  • Patrol Tactics
  • The Historical Intersection of Race and Policing
  • Alternatives to Booking
  • Implicit and Explicit Bias
  • Understanding Local Cultures

 

Independent Investigations

On December 5, 2019, the WSCJTC adopted rules for a completely independent investigation into officer involved uses of deadly force. The main focuses of these rules, known as WAC 139-12, are independence, transparency, community, and credibility; the principles that are key to enhancing public trust. Some highlights of the rules are:

  • The addition of community representatives to the independent investigation team (IIT)
  • Training and experience requirements for the law enforcement members of the IIT
  • Certification of the IIT lead investigators
  • Information about the role of the involved agency
  • Details regarding how investigation information will be shared with the public

For a summary of the contents of the rules, please see the IIT Fact Sheet. Please also see the Resources page for documents developed as a result of WAC 139-12.

 

Program Staff

For general LETCSA inquiries, please email letcsa@cjtc.wa.gov.

 

Alex Buijs, LETCSA Program Manager

(206) 591- 7930

abuijs@cjtc.wa.gov 

 

Antonio Asencio-Pigmon, LETCSA Administrative Assistant

(206) 591- 4254

aapigmon@cjtc.wa.gov

 

Don Arnold, Applied Skills De-escalation Program Manager/ Use of Force Program Manager

(206) 835- 7309

darnold@cjtc.wa.gov

 

Sacheie Coaxum , Applied Skills Training Division Administrator

(206) 835- 7329

scoaxum@cjtc.wa.gov

LETCSA Training

FAQ

Question Answer

What if I graduated from BLEA between December 2019—May 2020?

If your graduation and certification date was between December 7, 2019, and May 2020, your training timeline is the same as the peace officers certified before December 7, 2019, and you must complete the first cycle of training by January 1, 2028. 

I would like to assist or recommend someone/an organization to assist in the development of a LETCSA course. How may I do that?

Please email letcsa@cjtc.wa.gov with your recommendation and WSCJTC LETCSA staff will follow-up with you.

I took a training on a similar topic. May I submit a variance for the WSCJTC LETCSA course?

Per WAC 139-11-030, any request for exemption, waiver, extension, or variance from any requirement of this chapter must be made under WAC 139-03-030. Additionally, the WSCJTC has adopted a policy which provides further details and clarity regarding this process and is available here.

Which BLEA class was the first to receive LETCSA training?

WSCJTC staff have identified BLEA Class #800 as the first graduating class having the LETCSA training requirements integrated into the BLEA curriculum. This class graduated in May 2020. Their three-year cycle began upon graduation. All BLEA classes that graduate from May 2020 and on are similarly situated.

Who creates LETCSA trainings?

Per WAC 139-11-040 (4), continuing training will be developed by WSCJTC staff in partnership with subject matter experts from across the state and across various related disciplines.

I just completed a LETCSA course. How do I print my certificate off Acadis?

The only LETCSA training that has a certificate of completion is the 24-hour Patrol Tactics In-Service. All other LETCSA trainings do not have a certificate. Your class completion is shown on your ACADIS transcript. 

Where do I send feedback regarding online, self-paced LETCSA courses?

Please send your feedback to letcsa@cjtc.wa.gov. 
 

I was certified as a peace officer before December 7, 2019. When do I need to complete the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act (LETCSA) training?

All peace officers certified in Washington before December 7, 2019, and lateral peace officers certified in Washington after December 7, 2019, must complete a minimum of 40-hours of continuing LETCSA training every three years after receiving their initial peace officer certification. Incumbent peace officers must complete their first cycle of LETCSA training by January 1, 2028.

I am not a law enforcement professional. How do I view the online LETCSA trainings?

Access to the WSCJTC database, Acadis, is limited to law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals. Acadis allows the public to view approved courses through FirstForward.com. You must create an account to view the course. To view complete instructions, please click here.

What are the training requirements for certified peace officers?

The answer to this question depends on an officer’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) graduation and certification date. Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 139-11 separates Washington state peace officers into groups with differing timelines. Per WAC 139-11-060 (1), all incumbent peace officers are required to complete forty hours of training every three years.

I have graduated from BLEA after May 2020. When do I need to complete my first round of LETCSA training?

Newly graduated incumbent peace officers must take LETCSA training every three years starting after their graduation date. 

Independent Investigation Teams (IIT)

FAQ

Question Answer

Where do I find IIT resources such as applications or forms?

All IIT documents and resources can be found here

I took a course offered by WSCJTC. Will it count toward the basic training courses for my IIT qualified lead investigator application?

The following WSCJTC courses do not count toward an IIT qualified lead investigator application (Both virtual and in-person formats).

  • Child Abuse Interviewing & Assessment
  • Sexual Assault Investigations: Victim-Centered Engagement and Resiliency Tactics
  • Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigations
These courses do not contain interrogation components which is a requirement per WAC 139-12-030.

What are the requirements for an IIT Qualified Lead Investigator Certification?

To obtain an IIT qualified lead investigator certificate, candidates must:

  • Provide proof of at least three years of uninterrupted experience as a certified peace officer, crime scene investigator, or related expertise in a discipline relevant to investigations.
  • Provide proof of successful completion of the prescribed training classes, (or appropriate equivalent experience), listed in this chapter.
To view the detailed instructions and get a copy of the application, please go to the LETCSA resources and documents section on the WSCJTC website.

How many non-law enforcement community representatives must be assigned to an IIT during an investigation?

A minimum of two non-law enforcement community representatives from the impacted communities will be assigned to an IIT.

Is an IIT required to use the WSCJTC conflict of interest form for their investigations?

No. If an IIT uses their own conflict of interest form, the standards must meet or exceed the form provided by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Who do I submit IIT rosters to?

Please send IIT rosters to letcsa@cjtc.wa.gov

Is it possible to substitute work experience for the basic training classes required for an IIT qualified lead investigator application?

Yes, with one exception. IIT members who have two years or more of relevant, full-time criminal investigative work experience may substitute their work experience for the required basic training classes which include basic homicide investigation, and interview and interrogation courses. County sheriffs, police chiefs, and IIT commanders are encouraged to promote continuing education as a best practice for all members assigned to the IIT.

The Patrol Tactics In-Service training requirement may not be substituted. Course completion and documentation is required for all IIT qualified lead investigator applications. 

How do I know if this training will count toward my IIT qualified lead investigator application?

The availability of WSCJTC-sponsored training on the topics required for IIT qualified lead investigator applications is limited. Please ensure that the vendor course is hosted by a reputable organization and the length of the training meets the minimum requirements. For basic homicide, the course should be 40 hours. For the interview and interrogation, the course should be 16 hours. There is no alternative training allowed for the Patrol Tactics In-Service course. For questions regarding accepted courses, please contact letcsa@cjtc.wa.gov with your inquiry. We may request additional information about the vendor course such as a course outline. 

Where do I find IIT rosters on the WSCJTC website?

To view the IIT rosters, please click here. Please note: The IITs across the state provide WSCJTC LETCSA staff with the documents and information contained on the rosters. WSCJTC LETCSA staff will check-in with the IIT leadership on a quarterly basis to ensure the information is up to date. IIT leadership may also provide updated rosters to WSCJTC LETCSA staff at any time. 

What is the role of the non-law enforcement community representative in an IIT investigation?

The role of the non-law enforcement community representative is as follows:

  • participate directly in the vetting, interviewing, and/or selection of IIT investigators.
  • review written conflict of interest statements submitted within 72 hours of the commencement of each investigation by the investigators;
  • have access to the investigation file when it is completed;
  • be provided a copy of all press releases and communication to the media prior to release; and
  • review notification of equipment use of the involved agency.

The nonlaw enforcement community representatives must sign a binding confidentiality agreement at the beginning of each police use of deadly force investigation that remains in effect until the prosecutor of jurisdiction either declines to file charges or the criminal case is concluded.

I am a non-law enforcement community member and would like to participate on an IIT. How may I do that?

Please reach out to your local law enforcement agency. IITs operate at a regional level. 

Is there statewide training available for IIT non-law enforcement community representatives?

WSCJTC LETCSA staff are developing standardized training required per WAC 139-12-030. We will notify the IITs as soon as it is available.

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