The City of Lake Forest Park is currently seeking volunteers from the Lake Forest Park community who are willing to serve as non-law enforcement community representatives, if an independent investigation becomes necessary to investigate the use of deadly force by a Lake Forest Park police officer.
Washington’s Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act (LETCSA) requires that an independent investigation team (IIT) investigate any use of deadly force by a police officer when it results in death, substantial bodily harm, or great bodily harm. The goal is to enhance accountability and increase trust between law enforcement and the community.
The IIT will consist of a team of qualified and certified law enforcement investigators and at least two non-law enforcement community representatives—possibly from the area where the incident had occurred. The Mayor and City Administrator will work with the Lake Forest Park Police Department Administration to appoint up to ten individuals to a roster. If an independent investigation is required, two or more individuals will be selected from the roster to serve on the IIT. The IIT will operate independently of any involved agency to conduct the investigation.
The IIT will conduct the investigation in the same manner as a criminal investigation. State law requires that the investigation be completely separate from the involved agency. Enabling community members to assess whether the investigation process is conducted in a trustworthy manner enhances accountability.
The non-law enforcement community representatives are a vital link between the IIT, the community, and the investigation. Once state regulations are published in January 2021, the community representatives will participate in the selection of IIT investigators, review conflict of interest statements, be present at briefings, have access to the completed investigation file, be provided a copy of press releases and communications prior to their release, and review notification of equipment use by the involved agency. Community representatives will sign a binding confidentiality agreement.
If you are interested in applying to be a volunteer non-law enforcement community representative, please fill out the online application by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2020.