Government Relations & Labor Advocacy

WACOPS exists because of your investment. Doctors, lawyers, accountants and so many other professions are known for their professional associations and the importance of their work to protect each group. WACOPS is the professional association for you, Washington’s professional peace officers. Just like the importance of having a physically healthy community public safety is a crucial aspect of a community’s health. Law enforcement is just as critical to society as doctors and, like doctors, you need a voice in Olympia to represent the truth.

You are our state’s professional public safety experts. You have unique and important experience but are often misunderstood by the population you serve. You have worked hard, risked much, and spent years vested in your career. Your membership in WACOPS ensures knowledgeable and dedicated people are advocating for your labor rights, pension, work safety, and future employment in law enforcement. Just like the other professions noted above, you make numerous investments to protect yourself and your career including quality equipment, various types of insurance, deferred compensation and so much more. By investing in WACOPS, your profession’s trade association, you have made another essential investment for yourself, your family, and your future. We understand your unique employment issues and are honored to be your voice in Olympia.

The WACOPS executive board has a subset of members that focus intensely on the legislative matters. The Government Relations Committee is chaired by an elected member of the board and is made up of 3 – 4 other elected board members and the Executive Director.  The work of the GRC is supported by a contract with a professional lobbyist.

As a trade association, WACOPS is focused on you. That means we work directly with legislators and stakeholders on policy proposals that could impact your pension, collective bargaining rights, and safety. Our approach to this advocacy work is ongoing and doesn’t begin simply because the Legislature is in session. We are working on these issues throughout the year conducting meetings, research, and preparation.

While our respective cities, counties and state(s) seek nationwide changes to policing, be assured that WACOPS will continue to be part of broader conversation in how modern policing should improve in Washington State. WACOPS will continue to work in a collaborative effort with all community groups as we recently did with the implementation of I-940/HB 1064; However, we will also continue to oppose any referendums, initiatives or legislative attempts to remove protections from officers acting in good faith (e.g. removal of qualified immunity), reductions to our collective bargaining rights, and most importantly any efforts intended to limit or remove the Constitutional Rights of our members.

The legislative process is multidimensional. While we may get some key things passed, we also are instrumental in stopping bad legislation too. The process isn’t perfect, and we can’t always get the outcomes we desire, but there is no doubt that without the work of WACOPS we would be looking at a very different landscape for your profession today.

Contact

Stacy Roark                    Teresa Taylor                       Jeff DeVere
GRC Chair                       Executive Director               Contract Lobbyist
[email protected]         [email protected]             [email protected]