Mark Harmsworth of the Washington Policy Center provides an example of why the state legislature needs to adopt the recommended changes in I-1474 to enable law enforcement to pursue criminal activity when it’s appropriate.
Washington Policy Center
Washington anti-pursuit laws, that are limiting the ability for law enforcement to pursue criminals, have reached a new apogee with a recent incident highlighted by Brandi Kruse, standing in for Dori Monson on his popular afternoon radio show on KIRO 97.3.
Seattle Business owner Bill Cahill, who owns Beacon Plumbing, recently had one of the company trucks stolen but was able to track the truck down with a tracking device installed on the vehicle. After locating the truck and confronting the thief, the man drove off and Bill pursued the truck. Law enforcement eventually intercepted Bill, but despite his pleadings for help, they explained they were unable to pursue the truck and help Bill recover his property.
Thankfully, Bill was able to recover the truck, but the whole situation highlights the impact to residents and business owners of ill-thought through legislation that is restricting law enforcement, passed by the Washington State Legislature. An initiative to the legislature was filed this year (I-1474) to fix the problem the legislature has been reluctant to correct.
Small Business owners own the assets of a company, so when an expensive item, like a car or truck is stolen, it’s not a large corporation that is footing the bill, it’s the business owner themselves. To put it another way, when someone steals your car or truck who pays? You do. It is not a victimless crime.
The cost from crime and the costs to secure assets when law enforcement is unable to act, are passed on to consumers as price increases to the products and services a company provides. When a store in Seattle is broken into a looted, insurance will cover some of the missing goods, but most of the time the store owner has to make up the difference.
Lackadaisical approaches to legislation that would help law enforcement do their jobs, including the defunding the Police movement of the last few years, have hurt residents and businesses in Seattle and surrounding areas.
The Washington State Legislature needs to adopt the recommended changes in I-1474 to enable law enforcement to pursue criminal activity when it’s appropriate. Right now, the law is on the side of the criminals.
Mark Harmsworth is the director of the Small Business Center at the Washington Policy Center.
POLL: Should the state legislature adopt recommended changes to I-1474 to enable law enforcement to pursue criminal activity when appropriate?
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