Sequim seeks residents to help investigate deadly force incidents

SEQUIM — The Sequim Police Department is seeking non-law enforcement Sequim-area residents interested in helping with independent investigations following incidents of use of deadly force.

In 2018, state voters passed Initiative 940, a measure that would require law enforcement officers to receive violence de-escalation, mental-health and first-aid training, and provide first-aid; and change standards for use of deadly force, adding a “good faith” standard and independent investigation.

These measures specify that when a law enforcement officer uses force that results in death, substantial bodily harm or great bodily harm, an independent investigation will occur, conducted by an Independent Investigative Team (IIT), Sequim city officials said in a press release.

An IIT is defined as “a team of qualified and certified peace officer investigators, civilian crime scene specialist, and at least two non-law enforcement community representatives who operate completely independent of any involved agency to conduct investigations of police deadly force incidents,” city representatives said.

According to the WAC, the non-law enforcement representatives, “should have credibility with, and ties to, communities impacted by police use of deadly force.”

Elected IIT members would have various responsibilities:

• Participate in the vetting, interviewing and/or selection of IIT investigators.

• Review conflict-of-interest statements by the investigators during each incident.

• Be present at briefings with the involved agency’s chief or sheriff.

• Have access to the investigation file upon its completion.

• Review a copy of all press releases/communication to media prior to release.

• Review notification of equipment use of involved agency.

• Sign a binding confidentiality agreement within 72 hours at the beginning of each investigation in which they are involved.

Representatives could be called upon to assist at various times throughout the year, to include weekends, holidays and overnight hours. There is no compensation for serving on the IIT.

For more information, contact Sequim Police Chief Sheri Crain at 360-683-7227 or visit

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