CENTRALIA – Southwest Washington state legislators have, for more than a year, been calling for the restoration of laws permitting law enforcement to fight crime. The Governor and Democrat controlled legislature passed police reforms that handcuffed officers in their work toward maintaining public safety.
In some cases police can not pursue those that violate the law, and the result has been an increase in criminal behavior.
State Representative Peter Abbarno was the victim of a vehicle burglary Wednesday, when he discovered that his Jeep, parked outside his Centralia home has been broken into with banks checks, jewelry and other valuables taken by an unidentified thief. Rep. Abbarno saying, “I’m mad and sad, going from sympathetic to empathetic (as a victim of theft).”
Lewis County Sheriff’s Operations Chief Dusty Breen updated the Lewis County Commissioners Wednesday on the state of public safety. “Some crimes such as stolen vehicles have been going up (in Lewis County). Part of the reason that we’re seeing this is that we’re not able to pursue them as effectively as before”, said Breen.
Sheriff Rob Snaza confirmed, “We’re continuing to see a rise in crime and are continuing to navigate through the (state) legislation that has been passed.” The Sheriff noted that investments made by the county have helped, such as the use of cameras in patrol cars and on deputies, saying, “The body cameras have actually been a very great tool for us.”
Sheriff Snaza and Chief Breen say that five new deputies are in the state training academy at this time, and one new deputy starts patrol in June.