Law enforcement officials on the Palouse have made it clear police reform laws that took effect in Washington this week will not stop staff from responding to emergency calls.

The legislation will, however, affect their actions when they arrive at the scene.

What police are allowed and not allowed to do is not always clear.

David Makin.

Washington State University associate professor David Makin said he advised police to clarify that the new law does not lock police out from assisting those people, it just limits their ability to use force. Makin works in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, serves on the Pullman Police Advisory Committee and has worked with Jenkins on police-related research projects for years.

“While both HB 1310 and HB 1054 have created unnecessary confusion regarding the rule of law, I would urge (the Pullman Police Department) to clarify the process and reassure the community that PPD is committed to assisting those most vulnerable in our community in their time of need,” Makin said “My understanding is that PPD has good working relationships and protocol for handling these situations and has handled these scenes with compassion.

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The Lewiston Tribune