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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County Executive, Sheriff, Council applaud House vote allowing law enforcement and firefighters to hire legal permanent residents

Summary

The state House of Representatives today passed a measure allowing local and state law enforcement and firefighters to hire legal permanent residents. The measure was proposed by King County Sheriff John Urquhart, sponsored by Representative Drew Stokesbary, and supported by King County Executive Dow Constantine and the Metropolitan King County Council.

Story

The state House of Representatives approved HB 1182, sponsored by Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn. The bill, passed by 91-6, modernizes local and state employment practices by allowing law enforcement and firefighting agencies to hire all legal residents in the U.S. An estimated 260,000 residents of Washington would be newly eligible to apply for civil service jobs as a result of this bill.

The measure would enable law enforcement agencies to build departments more reflective of the communities they protect. It was brought forward by King County Sheriff John Urquhart and supported by King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council, along with various cities, OneAmerica, Washington State Patrol,  and others.

“The people of King County are served best when they are served by a workforce as diverse as the county itself,” said Executive Constantine. “I want to thank Sheriff Urquhart for bringing this important policy forward and Representative Drew Stokesbary for his leadership in guiding the bill through the House of Representatives.”

“I am grateful to see so many of my colleagues—on both sides of the aisle—vote for this legislation,” said Rep. Stokesbary. “As members of the U.S. military, lawful permanent residents have defended our freedoms abroad, today’s vote lets these same neighbors move closer to being able to protect us here at home as police officers and firefighters.”  

HB 1182 is now up for consideration in the state’s Senate Commerce, Labor, and Sports Committee. A similar billed passed the state House last year but failed to get a vote in the state Senate.

Relevant links

Quotes

The people of King County are served best when they are served by a workforce as diverse as the county itself. I want to thank Sheriff Urquhart for bringing this important policy forward and Representative Drew Stokesbary for his leadership in guiding the bill through the House of Representatives.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

I am grateful to see so many of my colleagues—on both sides of the aisle—vote for this legislation. As members of the U.S. military, lawful permanent residents have defended our freedoms abroad, today’s vote lets these same neighbors move closer to being able to protect us here at home as police officers and firefighters. 

Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn

For too long those who would serve and protect their community with honor have been denied the opportunity to do so. Just like we allow non-citizens to fight and die for our country in the military, we should extend the opportunity to serve as a first responder in our communities to any lawful resident.

John Urquhart, King County Sheriff

Legal permanent residents are every bit as patriotic and proud of their communities as anyone else. If we allow them to fight for us overseas, it’s time to let them start policing their own neighborhoods. It’s the right thing to do.

Joe McDermott, King County Council Chair

 

For more information, contact:

Alex Fryer, Executive Office, 206-477-7966


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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