A Message from Chief Darrell Lowe regarding new legislation

Message from the Police Chief

Dear Redmond community,

The Washington State Legislature recently passed several bills that impact law enforcement procedures, tactics, and operations across the state. As the Redmond Police Department incorporates these changes, I’d like to share a summary with the community.

The following outline provides a brief overview of each legislative bill and how it will impact the approach and procedures utilized by Redmond Police officers and staff. The bills have been reviewed by the Redmond Police administration, Police training unit, Lexipol policy content team, and the city attorney. 

Effective July 1, 2021

  • Senate Bill 5476 (Blake Decision regarding drugs and paraphernalia) clarifies that possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor. Under this new law, officers are required to offer referrals to assessment and services prior to an action of arrest and booking. The community may now see officers interact and release drug users to ensure referral to services are implemented.

Effective July 25, 2021

  • House Bill 1054 (Tactics) prohibits using a chokehold or neck restraint, prohibits military equipment, restricts vehicular pursuits, and prohibits firing a weapon at a moving vehicle. Redmond already prohibits chokeholds and firing at moving vehicles, and our existing pursuit policy is as restrictive as the new legislation. Redmond’s only military surplus equipment (which is not subject to this bill as it is not armored) is a repurposed Ford F850 box truck (previously a Naval Mobile Dental Services Unit), used by crisis negotiators as a place to coordinate, meet, and communicate with subjects during an on-scene response.
  • House Bill 1310 (Use of Force) clarifies when officers may use force and when de-escalation tactics are required. Many of Redmond's previously updated use of force policies meet these criteria. We have provided extensive training to ensure officers use de-escalation techniques such as employ more time to talk, gather information, and only detain someone or use physical force when probable cause exists or there is an imminent threat of bodily injury. Officer responses to specific events, such as misdemeanor crimes, people in crisis, runaways, and involuntary emergency detentions, will first need to establish probable cause or imminent threat under this bill. The community may see officers clear the scene if no probable cause exists and there is no imminent threat.
  • Senate Bill 5051 (Decertification & Background Checks) provides stringent practice and policy requirements that Redmond is already utilizing and will continue to use and communicate de-certifications to the Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC).
  • Senate Bill 5066 (Duty to Intervene) aligns with Redmond Police's long-standing requirement for officers to provide first aid and report policy and law violations. This bill and our policy language have been further defined and clarified.

The Redmond Police Department supports advances in policies that ensure public safety, respect victims of crime, and create a greater circle of support to anyone who needs police assistance. The department’s goal is to earn and maintain the highest level of trust from the community we serve, provide protection and service with compassion, and uphold the law with equity and transparency.

We recognize there may be challenges ahead as we navigate these legislative changes. We encourage you to ask questions and to keep the lines of communication open. The Redmond Police Department will continue to partner with the community and its leaders to keep Redmond a safe, inclusive, and welcoming community for all. 

More information regarding Police policies and updates are available at www.redmond.gov/Police.  Learn more about the framework for our Use of Force policies at  https://useofforce.lexipol.com/community-members/.


Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe