OutsidersInn In The News

De-escalating some groups’ encounters with police focus of meeting

Suggestions offered to State Justice Training Commission ahead of I-940 implementation

Article in The Columbian

By Jack Heffernan, Columbian breaking news reporter


Bill Langfitt, whose son Billy Langfitt was shot and killed by a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy in March 2018, has called for better police training since his son’s death.

“If we’re going to encounter police officers as judge, jury and executioner, we must demand exceptionalism,” Langfitt said.

Langfitt also recognized that “the days of the ‘Andy Griffith Show,’ ” featuring an affable small-town sheriff as the lead character, are over.

“There are positive interactions with police officers, but we don’t always hear about them,” Langfitt said.

Langfitt’s comments came during a two-hour discussion Thursday night about how agencies can best train police under Initiative 940 mandates. Notes from the discussion, hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and De-Escalate Washington at Bridgeview Community Center, will be presented to the state Criminal Justice Training Commission.

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